A pull up resistor is used to "pull" the logic high voltage level up to the level of the operating voltage. This is useful when the output of the Open Collector is not reaching the voltage level needed to indicate a logic high signal or when noise is present on the signal line. When a logic high signal is present its voltage level will be approx. that of the operating voltage for an open circuit. The difference is due to the voltage drop across the pull-up resistor. This is not necessarily true if the load is referenced to ground.