Individual researchers, their Research Group, Department and the University as a whole, all benefit from making the outputs of research available open access.
DRO content is indexed by Google, Google Scholar and other web search services. Records with full-text should rank high in search results. Positioning depends partly on how many other web pages link to the DRO record. Providing the full-text attracts links and will promote your ranking. Social media can help too. Email the DRO Team 140 characters describing your output. We'll tweet about it for you.
University libraries spend millions of pounds each year on journal subscriptions. But even Harvard University declared it can't afford subscriptions to all the journals its researchers want to read. Therefore it may be incorrect to assume that every researcher whom you want to read your work has access.
JSTOR launched Register & Read in 2012, a web service giving free access to over 5 million articles from across 1.5K journals. It was intended for use by independent researchers, not affiliated to any university. However, JSTOR found that only 16% of users came from this group. Most use was by researchers working in universities.
Evidence from across a range of disciplines indicates that papers made freely available from repositories gain a citation advantage over those behind pay barriers. Although repository deposit won't make the uncitable, citable, by widening readership, the chances of being cited increase too.
Journal articles and conference papers must be available open access to be eligible for submission.
Green open access: Final accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts must be deposited in either an institutional or subject repository. Deposit deadline is 3 months from the date when the paper first appears on the publisher's website. This is usually the early online date rather than the print publication date. The requirement applies to papers accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 onwards. Previously, the deposit deadline was 3 months from acceptance for publication. But HEFCE have postponed introducing this condition until April 2017. However, we strongly recommend that authors provide their manuscripts as soon as they know they have been accepted - we don't want anything (or anyone) to slip through the net.
Gold open access: HEFCE have also said that outputs made open access via the Gold route do not need to be deposited in a repository. These papers are freely available to all from publishers' websites, usually because an Article Processing Charge has been paid (APC). However, we will continue to deposit them in DRO, and ask authors to attach the published version to their Staff Profile record instead of the manuscript. Help boost your Google rankings.
REF2014 assessed the non-academic impact of university research. For some researchers, providing evidence to prove impact was challenging. Depositing your work in DRO makes it available to a wide audience. For example, researchers and policy makers working in industry, central and local government and the NHS. These may be the very sectors where your research could have demonstrable impact.
In late 2013, Elsevier sent out 50,000 'takedown' notices to academics who had illegally posted published versions of their articles on their personal websites and sites like ResearchGate. Elsevier, in common with other large publishers, do not permit this unless they have been paid an Article Processing Charge (APC).
Before any file is made open access in DRO, the DRO Team will check that it is the version of full-text which the publisher permits to be used for this purpose - one less thing for researchers to worry about.