Discovery Research Portal policies

Updated on 15 March 2023

Policies relating to the Pure research repository and research information system.

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There are a number of University of Dundee and Library and Learning Centre policies relating to the Pure research repository and research information management system of the University of Dundee (known as “Discovery”).  If you require further information on any aspect of policy please contact the Discovery team

These policies should be read together with the Discovery Deposit Agreement (known as the “Agreement”) as well as associated policies accessible at the following links:

If there is a conflict between these Policies and the Agreement, the Agreement shall take precedence.

Content policy

Discovery is the public facing portal of the University of Dundee’s current research information system, which is underpinned by Pure software. It will accept digital content of a scholarly or educational nature created by or owned by research staff and research post graduate students of the University of Dundee, and research theses. In addition to digital content, Discovery records the bibliographic information (metadata) describing the item.  In the case where the full text of a research output is not available or it is not able to be digitised, the metadata for that item will be deposited.

In order for a work to be deposited in Discovery, the author or depositor (if not the author) of the work must have sufficient authority to:

  • deposit the work
  • grant the University a right to distribute, reproduce, archive and preserve the work; and
  • make the work available to the public on the Internet; and
  • grant the users of Discovery a right to use the work for research and private study subject to any existing licences

Content may, if the circumstances require it, be closed access only. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the content owner together with the Discovery team.  Please refer to paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 of the Agreement.

Examples of content:

  • Articles, peer review papers, preprints and conference papers
  • Books and book chapters
  • Audio and video
  • Images
  • Learning objects
  • Research data
  • Reports
  • Theses

Submission policy

Self-archiving of works in Discovery is limited to research staff and students of the University of Dundee. Any copyright violations are entirely the responsibility of the authors or those depositing on their behalf.  Please refer to paragraphs 4, 7 and 8 of the Agreement.

Copyright in the deposited work remains with the author(s) or publisher of the deposited work, save for the metadata record which is transferred to the University and any rights that may be held by third parties included in the deposited work(s).

The depositor is responsible for ensuring s/he has secured permissions from all other authors to deposit the work in Discovery under the terms of the Agreement, including granting the rights to end users and the University under the Agreement, subject to any existing licences.  Please refer to paragraphs 1, 4, 7 and 8 of the Agreement.

Where departmental or research administrators, rather than the author him/herself are responsible for depositing works, the Agreement shall be signed or accepted by the relevant author, owner or rights-holder of the work who will be bound by the Agreement and the University’s policies in respect of all deposited works.

Theses submissions

All postgraduate research students have been required to archive a copy of the final version of their thesis electronically since September 2009. Students can indicate that the thesis should be embargoed, preventing public access to it, provided there is legitimate cause. Further information is available from the Library and Learning Centre theses archiving webpages or by contacting the Discovery team.

Embargo policy

Any submission can be embargoed, preventing public access to it. This option can be selected during the submission process. There are a number of reasons why work may be embargoed, including:

  • Inclusion of 3rd party copyright material (all third party permissions should be obtained to deposit works which include third party copyright material, regardless of whether the content is embargoed)
  • Work sponsored or paid for by corporate partner
  • Work could influence current or future patent or registered design right applications
  • Release of work could influence a commercial partnership
  • Work contains material of a sensitive nature – (E.g. security sensitive material or personal information).

3rd party copyright policy

Submissions containing material with a 3rd party copyright can be made available if the author has obtained permission to deposit 3rd party copyright material and grant the rights to use such material in accordance with the Agreement.

Please see paragraphs 2, 3, 7 and 8 of the Agreement.

Use policy

Deposited works will be accessible to individuals, institutions and automated agents (e.g. harvesters) via the World Wide Web, subject to any approved embargoes. For theses, an electronic copy may also be included in the British Library Electronic Theses On-line System.

Deposited works in Discovery are freely available to access, print and download for the purposes of research and private study subject to any existing licences.

Please refer to paragraphs 3, 7 and 8 of the Agreement.

Preservation policy

The University of Dundee Library and Learning Centre is committed to the long term preservation of deposited items in Discovery.

  • Items will be migrated to new file formats where this is efficient or necessary.
  • It may not be possible to guarantee the readability of or access to unusual file formats.
  • Discovery endeavours to store and maintain its files according to current best practice.
  • The original file may be retained, in addition to any upgraded formats.

In the event of Discovery being closed down, the database will be transferred to another appropriate archive.

Notice and takedown policy

Discovery is a digital archive and the intention is that deposited works will not be removed. However the University may remove works that have been validated from public display in accordance with paragraph 6 of the Agreement.  Reasons for removing deposited works may include, for example:

  • Complaint received about the deposited work
  • Alleged or suspected copyright violation or plagiarism
  • Legal requirements
  • National Security
  • Falsified research
  • Depositor’s breach of the Agreement or the University Policies

If you wish to issue a complaint about an item available on the Discovery portal, you may send a complaint either to the Discovery Team or in writing to Discovery Team, University of Dundee Library and Learning Centre, Smalls Wynd, Dundee DD1 4HN.

Please include the following information in your complaint:

  • Your contact details
  • Bibliographic details for the item complained of, including a URL
  • An outline of the nature of the complaint

On receipt of a complaint the Discovery team will:

  • Make an initial judgement of the validity of the complaint
  • Withdraw the item in question from public view
  • Return an acknowledgement that the complaint has been received
  • The complaint will then be reviewed by the Discovery team together with the Discovery managing bodies and if necessary the University's Copyright Officer.
  • If the grounds of the complaint are considered plausible, the material will be permanently withdrawn from Discovery. If possible, the author will be contacted to inform them of the withdrawal, but their permission is not required to action it.

Once a work has been deposited in Discovery and subsequently removed, metadata to the deposited work will always remain on the Discovery portal together with a note explaining the reasons for removal, to avoid loss of historical record. Work can be reinstated if the reason for the removal no longer exists (e.g. a copyright violation is corrected).


Last revised July 2018

Discovery Deposit Agreement

This Deposit Agreement (known as the “Agreement”) sets out the terms and conditions upon which we, the University of Dundee (“the University”), grant access to you, the user, to deposit articles, bibliographic data, books, conference papers, datasets, files, theses and other materials (which are referred to as “works” in this Agreement) in the University’s current research information management system, underpinned by Pure software (known as “Discovery”).

This Agreement applies to:

  • all deposits of works  added to Discovery by you / on your behalf; and
  • works that have already been deposited in Discovery and attributed to you

This Agreement should be read together with the Discovery Policies, and associated policies accessible at the following links:

If there is a conflict between this Agreement and any of the policies, this Agreement shall take precedence.

You agree that:

Depositing works in Discovery

1. When depositing a work (or works) in Discovery, you accept that you are not transferring ownership of that work (or works).  Intellectual property rights in any work shall remain the exclusive property of the party owning it.

2. Where there is no known conflict with existing licences, you grant the University a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable and royalty-free licence to use the intellectual property rights in the deposited works to:

  • store and preserve the works in Discovery;
  • distribute copies of the works via Discovery to all users (unless any specific embargo or licensing restrictions apply);
  • use the intellectual property rights in the works in any way required for the purpose of storing and distributing the works, including translating, reproducing, copying, creating backup copies of, and re-arranging the works;
  • migrate the works to another repository or database;
  • incorporate metadata or documentation into public access catalogues for your works; and
  • reproduce, transmit, broadcast or display the works in any format of software.

3. Subject to any embargo specified in the metadata of the relevant work, you grant to all users of Discovery permission to use the copyright in the works for research and private study subject to existing licences.

4. You assign to the University all intellectual property rights which may exist in the metadata records of the works deposited in Discovery, subject to existing licences.  You agree that the metadata record maybe retained in Discovery even after the work is removed.

5. You agree that the University is not under any obligation to take legal action on your behalf or on behalf of anyone else in the event of a breach of the intellectual property rights in the work.

6. You agree that the University may in its sole discretion remove works from Discovery or restrict the visibility of any work within Discovery.  Reasons for removal or restriction include the examples outlined in the Notice and Takedown Policy within the Discovery Policies available above.

7. You confirm to the University in respect of all works deposited by you, that:

  • the content of the work does not breach any applicable laws (including data protection legislation);
  • depositing the work does not breach any applicable laws;
  • the work is either original and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other person or the work contains material in which intellectual property rights are owned by a third party, you have secured the necessary rights from third parties to deposit the works in accordance with this Agreement;
  • by depositing the works you are not in breach of any agreement with a third party; and 
  • you have the right (including relevant permissions obtained from joint authors) to deposit the work in Discovery and to grant the rights outlined in this Agreement and/or have taken all necessary action to authorise such deposit and grant of rights.

8. The University provides the Discovery portal free of charge and does not check all of the information deposited by you in Discovery.  Accordingly, if the University incurs any loss as a result of the works deposited by you in Discovery or your breach of this Agreement, you agree to indemnify the University in respect of that loss.

9. The terms of this Agreement shall apply to each work you deposit in the Discovery database.

10. The University excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability arising from your use of Discovery and the depositing of any works, including liabilities relating to:

  • the content of the works (including quality and accuracy);
  • any breach of this Agreement by a Discovery user;
  • the Discovery portal and/or the works being unavailable;
  • any infringement of intellectual property rights present in the works or which may arise through the depositing of the works;
  • any breach of applicable laws present in the works or which may arise through the depositing of the works;
  • loss or damage to the work or any other data; and
  • any damage caused by viruses or other malicious programmes.

11. You agree not to distribute or transmit any viruses or other harmful code during your use of Discovery.

12. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of Scotland.

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