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Durham University



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
  • Check the 1st column is ticked for the particular publication
  • Select Update Choices at the foot of the table

It's still not displaying

  • Open the record as if to edit
  • Look at the value at the top of the screen in Publication Status
  • If it's other than Published and the output has now been published
    • Change Publication Status to Published
    • Select Save changes at the foot of the record
    • Select Publication display and REF settings from the left-hand menu
    • Check the 1st column is ticked for the particular publication
  • If it's other than Published and the output has not been published
    • Leave Publications Status as it is and come out of the record
    • Use the browser's back button to return to the screen displayed after you select My profile (you'll see a table listing your name, qualifications etc)
    • Look for the entry Display Unpublished Publications in the table

If you tick this box, all your records will be displayed on your Durham web page, regardless of the value in Publication Status - 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 If you want some, but not all your unpublished records to display, you can tick Display Unpublished Publications then use the Publication display and REF settings table to switch-off the display of particular records.

    • Select Edit Personal Information at the foot of the table if you changed the Display Unpublished Publications setting

None of the above works for me

The problem could be that your Durham colleague who created the Staff Profile record didn't link you as co-author. You can either email the DRO Team or ask your colleague to link you to the 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 all the co-authors' Durham email addresses or CIS usernames and separate with a comma
  • Select Register co-author at the foot of the table

You may then need to adjust your Publication display and REF settings (ie check the 1st column is ticked for the particular publication).

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, hopefully, with knock-on benefits such as 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 ISBN to test whether a paper needs to 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.

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 listed on your application must be provided for deposit in DRO – ie by attaching the final peer-reviewed 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 they are:

  • 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 (please add if now known)
  • 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.