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Library Research Support: Open Research: Durham University Open Access Policy

This guide is intended to provide advice and support on open access research, including guidance around Durham Research Online (DRO), open access publishing, research data management and related topics.

Overview - Durham University Open Access policy

Durham University has had an Open Access Policy since 2011, expecting authors to ensure that their research outputs are made available in an open access form wherever possible. This page:

  • Outlines the core expectations under Durham University Open Access policy
  • Outlines the core expectation under Durham University's Research Data Management Policy
  • Identifies other related policies.

Durham University Policy

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.


Durham University's Open Access policy applies to all academic staff and postgraduate research students.

Responsibilities of Authors

For all peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers: 

  • Deposit your papers: Authors must provide their final accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts for deposit in DRO within 3 months of acceptance for publication.
  • Meet your funder requirements: Authors must ensure they comply with the open access requirements of any funding body which has funded their research.
  • Ensure you are REF Compliant: Authors are responsible for ensuring their publications have met the requirements of the current REF for open access publication.
  • Identify costs and confirm funding: Authors are responsible for ensuring that where there is a cost applicable for making their articles open access, that they have identified and confirmed how these will be met; where being funded from any external; or centrally held funding, that the availability of funding has been checked and communicated to the manager of that funding at the earliest stage possible.

For all other research publications:

  • Authors are required, where appropriate and whereever possible, to deposit other forms of published research output (including book chapters) in DRO at the earliest date possible.

View the full Durham University Open Access policy.

Durham University, as a member of the N8, released a statement in January 2023 outlining the importance of researchers being able ot retain their original rights when their work is published in a journal.


Durham University's Research Publications policy was approved by Senate on 14th February 2023 following a University wide consultation process, and is aligned with the Open Access (OA) requirements of funders, including UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Wellcome Trust and Research England. It applies to all staff authoring any Scholarly Article which they submit for publication after 31st March 2023.

Further information on Durham University's Research Publications Policy can be found on our dedicated guide.

View the N8 Statement on Rights Retention here.

View the full Durham University Research Publications Policy.

As a leading research institution, Durham University recognises the value of research data as a key institutional asset ... The University is committed to managing this data throughout its lifecycle, in a manner compatible with the best interests of the institution, its researchers and research participants, and its ethical, legal and contractual requirements.


Durham's Research Data Management Policy includes expectations for authors on how to manage their research data, and to consider if and how this can and should be made available to other researchers. It applies to all research projects, for all academic staff and research students at the University.

Responsibilities of Principal Investigators

PIs are responsible for ensuring that:

  • Data Management Plans: Preparing and maintaining a clear research data management plan, detailing how project data will be handled through the data lifecycle.
  • Understand and meet data management requirements: All requirements and obligations (including ethical, IP, contractual, data security, storage requirements) are considered, with appropriate agreements in place and costs identified and secured.
  • "As open as possible, as closed as necessary": Consideration is given as to the extent or manner in which Research data may be made more widely available, taking into account:
    • consent, privacy and confidentiality for sensitive data;
    • contractual requirements (including Intellectual Property agreements);
    • obligations to share data (including those of funders and publishers).


The full Durham University Research Data Management Policy can be found here.

Ownership of research data is defined in the University's Intellectual Property Policy.

Further guidance on Research Data Management can be found on our guide.

All researchers should (a) act in accordance with high ethical standards, values of mutual co-operation, openness, professionalism and the open and honest exchange of ideas; (b) comply with all University, legal and ethical requirements and other guidelines that apply to their research.


Durham University's Research Integrity Policy outlines the broad expectations around behaviour and practice in all research activity conducted by staff and students. This includes areas related to Open Research Practices.

All Researchers are required to:
  • 8.3.1.(a): adhere to the terms and conditions of any grant or contract related to the project.
  • 10.1.(c): select reputable outlets which maximise the exposure and impact of the work, both to the academic community and society more broadly, in line with its Open Access Policy.
  • 10.1.(f): adhere to any conditions set by funding or other bodies regarding the publication of data or findings, including the timing and manner of publication (e.g. open access).
  • 8.4.1 (a): comply with the University’s Research Data Management Policy, and any other legal, ethical, funding body and organisational requirements
  • 8.4.1 (c): ensure that research data relating to publications is available for discussion with other researchers, subject to any existing agreements on confidentiality.
All Principal Investigators are required to:
  • 10.2: take overall responsibility for the project's publication strategy.
  • 8.4.2.(a): ensure that data management requirements are considered at an early stage of the design of the project, normally through preparation of a data management plan.

All of these requirements are underpinned by one broad principle:

The University respects the researcher’s academic freedom and their right to select the most appropriate route and method for dissemination of results. The University expects that researchers will select the most appropriate publication strategy.


The full Durham University Research Integrity Policy can be found here.


The University's overall position is that any Intellectual Property originating from its activities should be exploited and be transferred into use by the most effective means possible.


Durham University's Intellectual Property Policy outlines expectations in three areas related to open access:

  • Copyright in research publications authored by academic staff employed by the University.
  • When software should, and should not be, designated as open source.
  • Ownership of and access to Research Data created during the course of University research activity.


The full Durham University Intellectual Property Policy can be viewed here (internal users only).

The University recognises that the responsible and ethical use of metrics, in helping to drive forward world-leading research, has the potential to help improve the visibility and the impact of its research.


The University has a policy, and statement, on how publication and citation metrics should be used responsibly when evaluating the visibility and impact of its research publication output.

The accessibility of research output may increase its visibility, discoverability and citation/re-use potential.

We therefore include here links to:


Open Access Theses

Open Access theses and dissertations

How to Deposit in DRO

How to deposit in DRO (Link to guide)

Publisher Agreements

Publisher Agreements (Link to guide)

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