The British Library aims to build a concrete case for open access in the academy, with research findings from an exhibition that opened this week expected to provide evidence that research quality will improve in a culture of greater openness.
Aleks Krotoski, researcher in residence for the Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research exhibition, will spend the next year gathering information on how researchers make use of digital technology to obtain and analyse data.
The exhibition, which is being held in partnership with Times Higher Education, will look at how technology influences research and researchers.
Visitors will be able to take part in a study of how they use new technology and how research questions are evolving to make use of technological advances.
Dr Krotoski said the technical data gathered would give the British Library and the academy the best evidence available about the value of new research tools.
She predicted that the findings would present a strong case for open access.
"If you look at the data and you look at what people are doing with technology at the moment, those things that are open are the most used," she said. "If quality researchers start using those practices, we are going to get better research on the back of that."
Growing Knowledge opened on 12 October and will run until 16 July 2011.