Accessibility statement

13. Dissemination of research results, intellectual property rights and responsibilities


The University requires all PGRs to obtain an ORCID(tm) personal identifier (ID). ORCID gives researchers and authors a single unique ID which works across the research landscape, ensuring that all research outputs and activities are correctly attributed. PGRs will be expected to submit their ORCID ID upon enrolment and, if not submitted at enrolment, required to have signed up for an ORCID ID by the first Thesis Advisory Panel meeting. PGRs are expected to comply with reasonable requests from the University and funding bodies (where applicable) for recording the outputs of research conducted as part of a PGR programme, and career progression information.


PGRs will be encouraged to make presentations on the results of their research in the University and at external meetings, and where appropriate to different audiences (eg, academic peers, undergraduate students, school pupils). They should receive appropriate training for this purpose. PGRs should also be encouraged to submit work for publication during the course of their studies, where appropriate. PGRs are bound by the University’s Policy on the publication of research, and authorship of publications should be decided in line with University policy on authorship. 


In line with the University’s commitment to Open Research, all theses deposited by PGRs after examination will be available to the general public, in full, for consultation and for reproduction (as permitted in copyright law), unless approval is obtained for embargo or redaction (as set out below). Where PGRs create scholarly articles during or as a consequence of their programme, they are strongly encouraged to follow the principles set out in Research Publications and Open Access Policy

Embargo and redaction policy


In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for a thesis to be embargoed (ie withheld from the general public and, normally with the exception of an abstract, none of the material reproduced) for a fixed period AND/OR made available with redaction (the PGR should deposit a redacted version of the thesis, which will be made publicly available, in addition to their examined (unredacted) thesis)


Embargo or redaction may be for one or more of the following reasons: (i) intent to publish; (ii) commercial sensitivity; (iii) data protection compliance; (iv) issues of health and safety; (v) unlicensed reproduction of third-party copyright material (copyright guidance is provided by the Library), (vi) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In considering whether to embargo or redact a thesis, all appropriate considerations must be taken into account, including funding requirements, intellectual property issues and Research Data Management expectations.


A request for embargo or redaction may be made by the PGR and/or the supervisor(s) and/or the funder of the PGR's research, subject to a valid reason as set out above. 


Any embargo period (counting from the date of the Award) should be as short as reasonably possible, ideally no more than 12 months. Where a PGR is in receipt of ANY UKRI money (ie including collaborative projects such as CASE and CDAs), the maximum embargo period is normally 12 months (counting from the date of the Award) and a convincing case must be made for the approval of any longer embargo.


An embargo of up to 12 months (total period, including any extensions) can be approved by the PGR and their supervisor(s). An embargo of between 13 and 24 months (total period, including any extensions) requires the additional approval of the Graduate Chair. An embargo of between 24 months and five years (total period, including any extensions), requires the additional approval of the Dean of YGRS. Lifting an embargo in advance of the set date requires the consent of the PGR and their supervisor(s) and the funder if applicable. 


If a dispute about the embargo of a thesis arises between the PGR and their supervisor(s), the decision of the supervisor(s) is final; if a dispute arises between supervisors, the decision of the Graduate Chair is final. 


Funder requirements around permitting or restricting access to the thesis (or material within the thesis) may be determined from the outset in the funder's terms and conditions and/or a studentship agreement OR a written request made by the funder (to the supervisor/PGR) when the thesis is finalised. Approval for any requested embargo period should be sought as above. 


The PGR and their supervisor(s) are jointly responsible for adhering to any embargo or redaction terms agreed with the funder at the outset and/or facilitating reasonable requests from the funder for embargo or redaction once the thesis is finalised. 


A thesis may be subject to a long-term (more than 5 years) or permanent embargo in the following circumstances: (i) contractual agreement with a funder where they are exceptional grounds; (ii) issues of national or personal security, or (iii) when requested by the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research for a breach of the Code of Practice on Research Integrity. All requests for long-term or permanent embargo must be approved by the Dean of YGRS and the SCA. Redaction for third-party copyright infringement will be indefinite unless notification of clearance is received. 

Copyright of thesis


Except by formal agreement between the PGR and an external organisation, copyright in the original material in a thesis is owned by the PGR. In many cases, however, other forms of intellectual property arising from the thesis, including patentable inventions and software, may be subject to contractual conditions, for example with sponsors of the research, which may require ownership to be vested in a third party or in the University. Furthermore, in many instances, intellectual property is jointly conceived by a PGR together with his or her supervisor(s) or with other colleagues in the same research group. In such cases, the University would expect to own such IPR but would share any benefits accruing from its exploitation with the PGR according to the University's Intellectual Property Regulation (Regulation 12). 

Contractual responsibilities to external organisations


Where the PGR studentship is sponsored by a commercial or other external organisation, such as UKRI, to which the University owes contractual responsibilities, the supervisor will ensure that the PGR receives and, where appropriate, signs a copy of the contract covering the research.

Policy sections

1. Introduction

2. The criteria for the award of PGR degrees

3. The research environment

4. Selection, admission and induction of PGRs

5. Supervision

6. Responsibilities of PGRs and supervisors

7. Periods of enrolment, changes to PGRs' status and personal circumstances (including illness), working hours and holidays

8. Progress and review arrangements

9. Development of research and other skills

10. Evaluation of PGR programmes

11. Research integrity and ethics

12. Assessment

13. Dissemination of research results, intellectual property rights and responsibilities

14. PGR complaints and appeals

15. Research away from York (excluding PGRs on distance learning PGR programmes)

16. Arrangements for non-York PGRs