Policy on the Publication of Research

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This policy applies to all published research outputs created by employees of University of York in the course of their employment, where publication is an expectation of their employment, and by postgraduate research students in the course of their studies, including submission of Doctoral and Masters by Research theses.

It provides direction on the publication process, from preparing publications through to facilitating access (including open access).


1. Introduction

1.1 University of York recognises publication of research outputs as an essential part of the research process, having a vital role in the dissemination and generation of knowledge and in the promotion of individual researchers and the institution1.

1.2 Increased emphasis within the UK higher education sector on public accountability and impact assessment has made it increasingly important for the University to be able to manage information about, and access to, research outputs, and to help researchers maximise the dissemination of their research outputs and comply with funder requirements. An important development has been the increased drive, particularly in the UK, towards Open Access publication as part of a wider research impact agenda. This policy has been informed by publication policies for national and international research funders and other UK, US and European universities.

1.3 This policy complements the following:

1.4 This policy does not affect the intellectual property rights of authors or the University as set out in the University Ordinances and Regulations

2. Purpose

2.1 This policy aims to provide the University with the means by which

  • to make knowledge generated by the research conducted under its auspices available to the widest possible audience
  • to help researchers disseminate research to achieve the greatest impact
  • to raise the profile of research outputs through the York Research Database and White Rose Research Online
  • to meet Freedom of Information obligations to publish publicly funded research outputs and data in a proactive manner
  • to meet the requirements of research funders to make research outputs Open Access
  • to manage information about its research outputs effectively, both for internal management and external research assessment
  • to facilitate long term storage and preservation of research outputs.

2.2 This policy provides direction on the publication process, from preparing publications through to facilitating access. The University values the right of authors and contributors to decide on the best avenue for the publication for their research findings while encouraging publication in an open and accessible way and ensuring funder requirements are met.

1 Definitions are provided in Appendix 1


3. Scope

3.1 This policy applies to all published research outputs created by employees of University of York in the course of their employment, where publication is an expectation of their employment, and by postgraduate research students in the course of their studies. This includes submission of Doctoral and Masters by Research theses.

3.2 This policy addresses all research outputs which have already been generated and are intended for publication in some form. It does not place any obligation on researchers to generate or publish additional outputs.


4. Infrastructure

4.1 The Current Research Information System (CRIS) as the University official record of research outputs: The CRIS (currently PURE) will be the official record of the University’s research output and the mechanism for submitting research outputs for performance review, research assessment, and facilitating reporting where possible.

4.2 The Institutional Repository (IR) as the University archive for research outputs: The IR (currently White Rose Research Online [WRRO]) is populated with metadata and full texts (where available) from the CRIS to create an archive of research outputs.

5. Process

Preparing publications

5.1 Ensure the publication route meets funder requirements: Authors will check the funder and external research assessment requirements before choosing their publication route.

5.2 Use a standard author identifier: Authors will use a persistent author identifier when submitting author details for a publication, where this option is given by the publisher.

5.3 Acknowledge affiliation to the University of York: Authors will acknowledge University of York in all their research outputs. The address will be in the form below.

[Parent department], University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom.

If there are constraints on the space available for the address, the phrase “University of York” will be used.

5.4 Acknowledge research funding: Authors will acknowledge all funding sources with relevant external grant numbers (in the correct format) in their research outputs.

5.5 Retain copyright: Authors are encouraged to seek to retain copyright and other reuse rights for research outputs in contracts with collaborators, funders and publishers.

Recording information about published research outputs

5.6 Record all published research outputs in the CRIS: Authors will add metadata for all published research outputs to the CRIS; for new outputs this will be as soon after the date of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date; existing outputs will be added not later than six months after appointment.

5.7 Deposit full text, post-print copies of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers in the CRIS: Authors will ensure deposit of the final peer-reviewed, corrected and accepted draft (post-print) of journal articles and conference papers in the CRIS as soon after the date of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date.

5.8 Deposit other published research outputs to the CRIS or an appropriate repository: Authors will deposit copies of other published research outputs, in addition to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, to the CRIS, or an appropriate repository where required by research funders. Outputs should be deposited as soon after the date of publication as possible, and no later than three months after this date.

5.9 Deposit postgraduate research theses: Postgraduate research students (PhD and Masters by Research) who register from October 2009 will deposit the final, corrected version of their thesis to the Institutional eTheses Repository after award of their degree. Embargo periods must be formally requested and approved.

Providing access to published research outputs

5.10 Provide Open Access to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers: Peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers which have been deposited in the CRIS will be made Open Access via the Institutional Repository if and when this is permitted by the publisher.

5.11 Provide Open Access to other published research outputs: Other research outputs, in addition to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, will be made Open Access where possible.

5.12 Provide Open Access to postgraduate research theses: Postgraduate theses are made Open Access in accordance with the University’s submission requirements for theses and dissertations

5.13 Provide copies of publications if requested: Authors are encouraged to provide copies of their publications on request where this is for fair-dealing purposes and does not breach legal restrictions.


6. Responsibilities

6.1 University Research Committee: chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, is the owner of this policy.

6.2 Individual authors: Each author will ensure that information about their publications and other outputs is entered to the CRIS (PURE) and that a copy is deposited where required by this policy. For jointly authored works it is the responsibility of authors to decide who is responsible for providing this information.

6.3 Principal Investigators (PIs): PIs, or the investigator considered to be the York lead, on research projects are responsible for ensuring that requirements on dissemination of research made by any external funders are met in full. This includes ensuring that authors publish in suitable publications and that funding for publication and Open Access is included in research grant proposals (except RCUK and Wellcome) where costs will be incurred and this is acceptable to the funder.

6.4 Supervisors: Supervisors of postgraduate research students (Masters by research and PhD) are responsible for ensuring their supervisees deposit a copy of their thesis and research publications.

6.5 Departmental Research Committees: DRCs are responsible for promoting awareness and understanding of this policy in their department.

6.6 The University: The University is responsible for ensuring that systems are in place to support the policy. This includes:

  • Providing help and advice on all aspects of the policy, including funder requirements and publisher policies relating to Open Access
  • Providing help and advice on maintaining information in the CRIS (PURE)
  • Under discussion: Taking action to ensure data quality, deposit and Open Access are achieved.


7. Policy implementation documents

7.1 This document, together with more information and guidance is available at: www.york.ac.uk/library/informationfor/researchers/openaccess/


Appendix 1 Definitions

Peer-reviewed journal article or conference paper

For the purpose of this policy, a peer-reviewed journal article is an article published in a scholarly journal or periodical publication following a peer-review process, i.e. evaluated by at least one independent expert in the field to determine suitability for publication. A peer-reviewed conference paper is a research paper originally intended for presentation at a scholarly conference and subsequently published as part of a conference proceedings or scholarly volume. In the case of conference papers, “peer-reviewed” could mean either that the paper underwent peer-review before acceptance to the conference or prior to acceptance for publication.

Published research outputs

Published research outputs refers to any tangible output arising from research done in the course of employment or study which is intended for communication of research outcomes to an external party. In addition to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, this may include, but is not limited to, monographs, book chapters, commissioned reports, contributions to specialist publications, websites, compositions, or patents.

Current Research Information System

A Current Research Information System, or CRIS, is a system used by organisations to store data on current research activity. The Current Research Information System used by University of York is called PURE.

Institutional Repository

White Rose Research Online (WRRO) is the Institutional Repository (IR) for the Universities of York, Leeds, and Sheffield. It provides an archive of research outputs from the three Universities. Some of these outputs are made publicly accessible but others are only archived and not made publicly available. White Rose Research Online interoperates with the Current Research Information System (PURE) but has a distinct purpose. One function of PURE is to store information about research outputs from the University (metadata), whereas White Rose Research Online stores copies of the research outputs themselves. In most cases, deposit of research outputs to White Rose Research Online can be done through PURE without the user interacting directly with the White Rose Research Online interface.

Open Access

Open Access refers to the free availability of research outputs for third parties to both access and to reuse. Free availability of access means availability on the public internet without financial, legal or technical barriers (other than those related to access to the internet itself). Availability for reuse is dependent upon the type of Open Access license used at publication. For the purposes of this policy it is assumed that a minimum standard for classification as Open Access is the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license or an equivalent. This gives third parties the right to access, download, and copy outputs on the condition that the author(s) are properly acknowledged, that the output will not be reused for commercial purposes, and that no changes are made to the output.

Gold Open Access and Green Open Access

A distinction is often made between Gold and Green Open Access. This refers to the route by which the Open Access version of an output is available. Green Open Access refers to an output being available as Open Access through an online repository which is separate from the publisher of the output (the output is still available from the publisher but this copy requires a subscription or payment to access). Gold Open Access refers to the output being available as Open Access from the publisher’s own website (this will usually, but not always, require payment of an article processing charge [APC] to the publisher).

Open Access licenses

Open Access content is still protected by copyright and this usually resides with either the author(s) or the publisher of a work depending on the publishing agreement used. However, to be considered Open Access, certain rights must be granted for third parties to distribute, reuse, or modify content. The extent of these rights and corresponding restrictions are codified and communicated through use of a license attached to the work. There are a number of different licenses available which offer different levels of rights and restrictions for reuse by third parties. The most common types of license used are Creative Commons licenses and the Open Government Licence. Once a license has been used for publication this cannot be revoked. For content published as Open Access on a publisher’s website, the type of license used will be specified as part of the publishing agreement between author(s) and publisher. HEFCE give the following information about Creative Commons License types:


Attribution. This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.


Attribution Non-Commercial. This licence lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially,


Attribution Non-Derivative. This licence allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.


Attribution Non-Commercial Non-Derivative. This licence allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Persistent author identifier

A persistent author identifier is a unique number issued to authors which can identify that author on a number of systems and will remain with that author in the case of change of institution or change of name. For an author identifier to be effective it must be issued and maintained by a service supported by the University and by external services. The system of persistent author identifiers supported by University of York is ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID).

Date of acceptance

The date of acceptance is the point at which the author is notified that their output has been reviewed by the journal or conference, that all academically necessary changes have been made in response to that review, and that the article is ready to be taken through the final steps toward publication (normally copy-editing and typesetting).

Date of publication

Date of publication is usually classed as the first date on which an ordinary reader would be able to access the content. Journals articles often have an official publication date but also an earlier date on which they are made available online, sometimes called an “early-online” date. In this case, the date on which the article first appeared online is classed as the date of publication.


Metadata is data about another piece of data. In the context of this policy it refers to descriptive information about research outputs generated by members of the University. Examples of the information contained could be article title, author(s), journal title, volume, publication date, associated projects, Digital Object Identifier, etc. This is information about the outputs which will help users to locate and access outputs (for example, through search engines or keyword searches) and to give important contextual information (for example, allowing users to connect different publications based on projects from which they were derived). As a minimum, a successful metadata record should allow users to find the record by title or by creator (author), provide enough information for users to locate a published research output, and provide enough information to distinguish an output from other, similar outputs.

Document history

Document history

11 June 2014 Approved by Research Committee
22 January 2018 Amended by Chair's action


Review cycle: Annual (until national policy has settled down)

Date of next review: Pending developments in relation to the UK Scholarly Communications Licence.