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Durham University

Research and Innovation Services

Durham Open Access FAQs

FAQs relating to Theses for Doctoral Students

What is Durham University's position on Open Access?

As a leading research institution, Durham recognises the value of its world class research and is committed to sharing its knowledge and expertise as widely as possible to enhance its use and impact.

Durham’s preferred option is to support the Green Open Access route of publishing, via its institutional repository Durham Research Online. In line with the Open Access policy, all researchers are required to deposit copies of their research in Durham Research Online.

Does Durham support Gold Open Access publishing?

As noted above, Durham’s preferred option is to support Green Open Access publishing. However, limited central funding is available to support publications which arise fully or partially as a result of RCUK funding.

The University receives an annual grant from RCUK each April which may be used to cover the cost of Gold Open Access funding. Any RCUK funded researcher can apply to this fund.

How is funding allocated

University Research Committee, UEC and Senate have agreed that funding is allocated on a first-come, first served basis and subject to the following criteria:

  • The research must be wholly or partially the result of RCUK funding
  • The research must be published in a journal which is fully compliant with the RCUK Open Access policy.
  • The corresponding author of the article, or the PI on the research project, must be a Durham member of staff or a student at Durham.

For more information, on RCUK’s policy, please see the RCUK Open Access FAQs section

My research is funded by the RCUK. How can I apply for central funding for Open Access publication costs?

You may fill in the RCUK Open Access request form providing details of your research. The Library will check whether your preferred journal is compliant with the RCUK Open Access policy and what options (green/gold) are available to you. If there are both green and gold compliant options you can select the option that you prefer. The RCUK has declared a preference for gold open access, where funds are still available via the institution. The University's preferred option is green open access.

If you opt for a gold open access option (or this is the only option available) you will be directed how to apply for funding through the staff profile system. This will enable to University to collect the information needed to report policy compliance and funding spend to RCUK/HEFCE, and enable us to ensure the funding you require is committed from when you submit your article through to when it is accepted and payment is required, be this 2 weeks, 12 months or longer.

What happens when the allocation has been spent?

Once the annual allocation has been committed, no further gold open access publishing will be supported from central funds until the new allocation is received the following April. In such instances, you will either need to fund publication from other sources (departmental/faculty funds) or publish via the green open access route.

Does Durham University have an institutional repository?

Yes, Durham Research Online is the institutional repository for all Durham authors. This not only provides a means of giving access to our authors research beyond the restrictions of subscription journals and databases, but also provides an internal record of our research outputs for various uses, including the REF.

How do I deposit my work in my institutional repository?

A Guide for depositors is provided online, or you can contact the Durham Research Online team directly.

Do I only need to deposit journal articles and conference proceedings into DRO?

No, wherever possible all publications should be deposited in DRO. Many publishers actually permit a sample chapter of a book or monograph to be made available. Please contact the DRO Team for advice.

It should also be noted that HEFCE will be awarding credit to the institution as part of REF2020 for supporting open access publishing beyond journal articles and conference proceedings. Funders such as the Wellcome Trust require monographs and book chapters to be open access. And, under Horizon 2020 and the RCUK open access policy, making other publication formats open access is highly recommended

My supervisor told me that I must deposit my thesis in the Durham e-Theses repository: why?

The purpose of Durham e-Theses is to increase the visibility of new research produced by the University, whilst promoting the work of the individual researcher. The other UK research-intensive Universities provide a similar service, all of which feed into the British Library’s national Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS).

How do I deposit my thesis in Durham e-Theses?

For guidance on the Thesis submission process, see the Academic Office pages.

For guidance on how to deposit your thesis in Durham e-Theses, see the deposit guide

Are there any exceptions to this policy?

With the agreement of your Supervisor, you can request an embargo on access to the full-text of your thesis. There are a number of exception categories and you must indicate which one you are claiming and why. Exception categories include that release of the work would prejudice the commercial interests of the University or that the content is scheduled for publication. The full list of exception categories is available on the Academic Office pages.

However, the metadata describing your work will be made available straightaway in Durham e-Theses.

You should also check that your funder does not have any objections to a potential embargo that they have not requested.

How do I request an embargo?

Consult with your Supervisor first. If they agree to the embargo request (and this is in line with the requirements of any body funding your study), download and complete the Restricting Access Thesis form available on the Graduate School web site. Submit the form to the Academic Support Office, together with a completed Higher Degree Entry form and two soft-bound copies of your thesis.

You must do this before your viva so that there is time for your request to be considered.

I am a Doctoral Student whose research is funded through one of the UK Research Councils: my Supervisor tells me that the Research Councils have new Open Access requirements too.

The three main requirements are:

  • Metadata describing your thesis must be available in your institutional repository as soon as possible after the award of your PhD;
  • Full-text of your thesis must also be available in the repository no later than 12 months following award;
  • Acknowledgement of the support you have received from the RCUK must also be included in your thesis.

Thus, by depositing your thesis in Durham e-Theses you can comply with the Open Access requirements of both the University and RCUK.

Are there any RCUK-specific exceptions to the policy

RCUK expect a thesis to be available open access within 12 months of the award. However, at the discretion of the University, a short extension to this may be agreed. Only in very exceptional circumstances could a thesis to be placed under an indefinite embargo.

I began my RCUK-funded research in 2010: does the Open Access requirement apply to me?

Yes, all current RCUK-funded students must comply.

What form of acknowledgement of RCUK support do I use?

Include the following statement in the acknowledgements section of your thesis:

This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number xxxx].

See Paras 102-103 of the RCUK Conditions of Research Council Training Grants for further information,

Where can I find out more information about the RCUK requirements?

Please refer to Paras 97-104 of the RCUK Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.