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Research and Innovation Services

Open Access Policy

Version: 4.0

Approval date: 20th June 2017

Effective from: 20th June 2017

Approved by: Senate

Owner: University Library


Download a pdf
of the policy

1.0 Background & purpose

Durham University is committed to sharing the findings of its world-class research as widely as possible to enhance its use and impact within the academic and research community and more widely within society.

In support of this Open Access goal, University Senate, the Research Committee and Academic Promotions Committee have agreed that:

2.0 Scope

This Policy applies to:

  • all members of staff employed by Durham University
  • all doctoral level research students

3.0 Policy Requirements

  1. Authors must provide an electronic copy of all peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers published since 1st January 2013 within 3 months of acceptance for publication for deposit in Durham Research Online (DRO), the University’s institutional repository for academic research.
    • This should be the author’s final accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript where copyright restricts the use of the published version.

  2. Authors should ensure where possible that all copyright agreements/licences signed with publishers allow for deposit in DRO of the authors final accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript within an embargo period of no more than six months.

  3. Authors are also required, where appropriate, to deposit other types of research outputs (including sample chapters from books, reports and grey literature) in DRO. This should be at the earliest date possible, (e.g. upon acceptance if the output is being published).

  4. Publications referred to for consideration in promotion applications and probation reports:
    i. where published since 1st January 2013 the author’s final peer-reviewed manuscript should be provided in time to allow deposit in DRO within 3 months of the date of acceptance (recognising that this is impossible for a small-number of publications and some formats of research outputs).
    ii. where published before 1st January 2013, details of the publication should appear on the staff member’s Durham web profile and, where possible, the authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscript should be deposited in DRO.

  5. Where copyright permits and respecting the embargo requirements of publishers, all content deposited in DRO will be made freely available for access.

4.0 Research outputs (Exc. Theses)

This section applies to all types of research outputs (except for theses which are addressed in 5.0) and includes news articles, monographs, patents and books but particularly articles and conference proceedings. For a fuller but not an exhaustive list see the list of REF output types.

4.1. Responsibilities of Researchers /Authors

Researchers are responsible for:

i. Ensuring compliance with the Durham University Open Access Policy as defined above.

ii. Ensuring compliance with the Open Access policy of any funding body which has funded their research, and for all research outputs resulting from that research.

iii. Ensuring that the requirements of HEFCE’s Open Access Policy for the post-2014 REF have been met for published research eligible for submission. Researchers should be mindful of the policy’s:

a) Requirement to deposit in a repository within 3 months of acceptance.

b) Maximum permitted embargo period for providing access to an output deposited in a repository.

If an author believes they have a valid reason why a publication should be exempt from the Policy (such as they have opted for a Gold Open Access option), they should record and provide supporting evidence to the REF Team who will decide if the publication will be included in the University’s submission.

iv. Identifying and publishing in journals which are compliant with the Durham University Open Access Policy, and the Open Access policy of any funding body which funds their research. Researchers should be mindful of a funder’s:

a) Maximum permitted embargo periods.

b) Licencing requirements.

c) Any requirement to deposit the full text of outputs in a specified repository.

v. Ensuring that they have a means to pay any resulting APC charged by a journal, and where this may be charged to any external or centrally held institutional funding, that the need for funds to make research open access are communicated to the University or the research funder (whichever is expected to be the source of any required funding) at the earliest stage possible.

4.2. Responsibilities of Principal Investigators of Funded Research Projects

Principal Investigators are responsible for:

i. Ensuring compliance with the Open Access policy of any funding body which has funded their research, and for all research outputs resulting from the research grant.

ii. Publishing in journals which are compliant with the Open Access policy of any funding body which funds their research. The Library Open Access Team can provide advice on publishers’ copyright policies.

iii. Ensuring all publications resulting from the research grant are deposited in DRO as well as any other requirements of the research funder (e.g. deposit in a specified repository).

iv. Following the University’s open access process and ensuring that the means to pay any resulting APCs charged by a journal are in place. Communicating to the required persons at the earliest opportunity, if funding is required for the payment of an APC, where this may be charged to any external or centrally held funding.

4.3. Responsibilities of Durham University

The University is responsible for:

i. Establishing and administering any funding provided for Open Access publishing by funding bodies (e.g. RCUK).

ii. Managing and developing DRO to support the open access goals of the University and the REF.

iii. Providing training and support on open access publishing, including advice on publishers’ copyright policies.

5.0 Theses

Durham e-Theses is a separate repository where PhD students should deposit their theses.

Copies of all Higher Degree theses submitted and passed by Durham University since 1 October 2009 will be made freely available via Durham e-theses unless an embargo is requested at the point of submission. Printed copies of pre-2009 theses have been digitised and will also be made available via the e-theses service. Any existing embargoes will be respected.

An embargo of up to up to three years may be applied, in line with the University’s Theses Submissions Policy, except where the author’s funder requires access within a shorter period of time (such as the UK Research Councils).

When the initial embargo is due to expire, an extension, up to a maximum further two years, can be applied with the authorisation of the departmental Director of Postgraduate Research.

5.1. Responsibilities of Student Authors

Student authors are responsible for:

i. Submitting their thesis to the Durham eThesis repository.

ii. Discussing with their supervisor any requirements for an embargo to be applied that would restrict access to their thesis, and submitting an authorised ‘Restricting Thesis Access” form if required.

iii. Requesting any renewal of an embargo in good time, but no earlier than 3 months from the expiry of the initial embargo.

5.2. Responsibilities of Primary Supervisors

Primary Supervisors are responsible for:

i. Ensuring candidates are aware that all PhD research will be made available through e-theses.

ii. Identifying research which contains commercially sensitive, confidential personal data, or where open access publishing would prejudice plans to publish the research as a book or article.

iii. Identifying where a maximum permitted embargo is expected by the funder of the research.

iv. Discussing appropriate embargo options with the candidate.

v. The Primary Supervisor, along with the relevant Department’s Director of Postgraduate Research (or equivalent) is responsible for authorising any request for an initial access embargo for a submitted thesis.

5.3. Responsibilities of Departmental Directors of Postgraduate Research

Departmental Directors of postgraduate research are responsible for:

i. The Department’s Director of Postgraduate Research (or equivalent), along with the student author’s Primary Supervisor are responsible for authorising any request for an initial access embargo for a submitted thesis.

ii. The Department’s Director of Postgraduate Research (or equivalent) is responsible for authorising any request for a renewal of any access embargo following the expiry of an initial access embargo.

5.4. Responsibilities of Durham University Library

The Library is responsible for:

i. Ensuring that content on its website is made available in accordance with current UK copyright legislation.

ii. To accommodate the possibility that a previously unknown copyright holder may come forward and request the removal of content from our public web sites, to ensure compliance with the University's e-Theses takedown policy.

6.0 University Help and Support

For general queries, please contact the University Library by email or phone in the first instance. Email: dro.admin@durham.ac.uk, Ext: 41586.

A more specialised contact list is attached in Appendix One.