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Please email your questions to the DRO Team. We will reply to you personally and add your question and our answer to this page.

Check your 'Publication display and REF settings' table

  • Logon to the Staff Profile system
  • Select My profile
  • Select Edit publications
  • Select Publication display and REF settings
  • If there's a row in the table for the publication, ensure there's a tick in the first column (ie Profile)
  • Select Update Choices

It's still not displaying

  • Open the record as if to edit it
  • Look at the value in the Publication Status field at the top of the screen
  • If the value is something other than Published and the output has now been published
    • Change the value to Published
    • Select Save changes at the foot of the record
    • Go back to the Publication display and REF settings table and ensure there's a tick in the first column (see above)
  • If the value is something other than Published and the output has not yet been published
    • Leave the Publications Status value as it is and come out of the record
    • Use the browser back button to return to screen displayed when you first logon (you'll see a table listing your name, qualifications etc)
    • Look for the entry Display Unpublished Publications

If you tick this box, then all your records will be displayed on your Durham web page, regardless of the value in the Publication Status field - ie any marked 'Planned' or 'Submitted' will display as well as those marked 'Accepted', 'Forthcoming' and of course 'Published'. If you want some, but not all your unpublished records to display, you can tick this box then use the Publication display and REF settings table to switch-off the display of particular records.

    • Select Edit Personal Information at the foot of the table

None of the above works for me: the record's on another Durham researcher's web page but not mine

Ask the other Durham researcher to link you as a co-author to the existing Staff Profile record

  • ... they Logon to the Staff Profile system
  • Select My profile
  • Select Edit publications
  • Select Add co-authors
  • Select the publication listed in the Publication drop-down box
  • Enter one or more Durham co-authors' Durham email addresses or CIS usernames: separate multiple entries with a comma
  • Select Register co-author

Then use your own Publication display and REF settings table to ensure the display of the record is switched-on.

If it is not possible to contact the other researcher, you could try to create a second version of the record. If you only enter values for Year, Title and Authors and then save the record, the duplicate-checking system should prevent you from creating a duplicate record, but the prompt will be displayed that lets you link yourself as a co-author to the record. Before you start, you might want to display the other researcher's webpage so that you can copy/paste values for the three fields. If you do manage to create a duplicate record, it's fixable - just email and we'll try and help.

No. The main purpose of DRO is to provide Open Access (OA) to as many Durham’s research outputs as possible. Benefits of OA include raising the profile of the researcher, their Group/Department and the University as a whole – eg widening readership, increased citations/social media interest/impact. Note that the University has its own Open Access policy and so might your research funder – eg RCUK, Wellcome Trust.

No. The REF Open Access requirements only applies to journal articles and published conference papers which were accepted for publication from 1 April 2016.

HEFCE make a distinction between conference papers which are journal-like and published online-only – usually found in the Sciences – and papers which are like book chapters – more usually found in the Arts & Humanities. HEFCE suggest using the presence/absence of an ISSN/ISBN to test whether the paper need comply:

ISSN-only Yes
ISBN-only No

But HEFCE also state: ‘institutions should reasonably be expected to use their own professional judgement to determine whether an individual output is of a type intended to be covered by our policy, bearing in mind that REF panel members will also have the ability to query whether an output has been classified appropriately’.

If you’ve already deposited them in another repository, could you please create a Staff Profile record anyway and enter the URL of the paper in the other repository and date when you deposited it. If the paper isn’t embargoed, we’ll put it in DRO too. If it is embargoed, we’ll get it once it becomes available. Creating a Profile record generates a record in the University’s REF database, marks that your paper is REF-compliant via deposit in the other repository as well as displaying its details on your Durham web page.

If your previous employer didn’t have a repository - for example - because it wasn’t a UK University, please create a Staff Profile record and if you still have your final manuscript, attach it to the Profile record. If the publisher permits, we’ll deposit it in DRO too - it might still meet HEFCE’s requirements. But if not, we’ll mark-up the REF database record as eligible to apply for the appropriate Exception– eg ‘the individual whose output is being submitted to the REF was not employed by a UK HEI at the time of submission for publication.

The Stern Report into the workings of the REF included this ‘non-portability’ recommendation. But we don’t yet know if it will be implemented and it could be next year before we find out. Until then, we suggest continuing to create Staff Profile records and attaching your final accepted manuscripts, especially for your journal articles and published conference papers.

The University has its own Open Access policy and so might your research funder – eg RCUK, Wellcome Trust.

If you’re applying for promotion or have to submit a probation report, then any output you list on your application must be provided for deposit in DRO – ie by attaching the final manuscript to the Staff Profile record. But note that the University’s Open Access policy states: ‘… recognising that this might not be possible for some formats’.

The REF Database Guide details possible reasons but, in brief, these are that the:

  • Publication was submitted to REF2014 and so can't be submitted again
  • Year of publication as given in the Staff Profile record is something other than 2014-2020
  • Publication date is missing from the record - DD/MM/YYYY
  • Publication date is in the record but it is outside the staff member's period of employment at Durham
  • A co-author of the publication working in another Durham department has already suggested the publication

See the REF Team's Output Eligibility for REF 2021 flowchart or email them for advice.

This is HEFCE’s explanation taken from their FAQ.

The date of acceptance is the point at which the author is notified that:

  • their output has been reviewed by the journal or conference (normally via peer review)
  • all academically necessary changes have been made in response to that review
  • the article is ready to be taken through the final steps toward publication (normally copy-editing and typesetting).

By this point, the paper should have been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. At this stage, the journal editor or conference organiser normally notifies the author that their paper has been ‘firmly’ accepted (as opposed to any earlier point of ‘provisional acceptance’) and the paper is ready for copy-editing or typesetting; it is the date of this notification that should be taken to mean the date of acceptance.

The author’s final, accepted manuscript is the one that has been agreed with the editor at that point. The accepted manuscript is not the same as the copy-edited, typeset or published paper – these versions are known as ‘proofs’ or ‘versions of record’ and publishers do not normally allow authors to make these open-access.

Most publishers only permit deposit of the final accepted manuscript version in a repository like DRO. But even if a particular publisher does permit the published version to be used or if an Article Processing Charge (APC) has been paid for 'Gold' open access, it is this University's policy that researchers provide their final accepted manuscripts for deposit in DRO regardless. There are two specific reasons for this requirement:

  1. There can be a significant time delay between the point of acceptance of a paper and its eventual publication
  2. HEFCE's open access requirement for REF2020 - applicable to journal articles and published conference papers - encourages manuscripts to be deposited, even if published as a 'Gold' open access publication

It's the version of your paper that has been revised to reflect peer-reviewers' comments and which the publisher has accepted for publication. You are unlikely to be allowed to use any subsequent version generated by the publisher once copy-editing and formatting has been applied - ie no proofs. For users of Microsoft Word, please provide your last Word version which the DRO Team will convert to PDF before depositing in DRO.

However, there are some grey areas. Many publishers now expect authors to use their online submission systems and import the accepted text into a ready-made template. The resulting file can look very much like the published versions. The DRO Team always check that any file deposited in the repository is the best and correct version which the publisher permits to be deposited.