Open research policy

Updated on 11 July 2023

This policy provides guidance on the University's requirements for open access to research.

On this page


The fundamental purpose of the University of Dundee as stated in its strategy is to “transform lives, locally and globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge.”

The Open Research Policy is entirely in keeping with this aim and is underpinned by our statement on open research.

Policy statement

1. Open access to research outputs

Staff and students shall take responsibility to ensure that their research outputs are made freely available, wherever possible, and fully comply with the publishing requirements of their research funders. This is applicable to all types of research outputs, defined as published or publicly presented results of research work completed at the University of Dundee.

Typically, these outputs may be published reviews, original journal articles, books, book chapters, datasets, software code, patents, works of art or art compilations, and digital media. Published conference papers may be included, while unpublished conference paper presentations would not normally be included.

Research outputs will have normally been subject to recognised peer review processes.

1.1. Journal publications

Open Access to journal publications may be achieved by:

  1. Publishing within an open access or "hybrid" subscription journal and paying the "article processing charge" (APC) required to ensure the article is available to all.
  2. Publishing within an open access or “hybrid” subscription journal where that journal is part of a Transformative Agreement with a publisher, whereby the article is published open access as part of that agreement.
  3. Publishing in a free open access journal or on an equivalent platform.
  4. Publishing in a journal which permits authors to deposit archival copies of either their final accepted manuscript or the publisher’s final version in a local or subject repository. In the case of the final accepted manuscript, this will be made available immediately upon publication under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.

1.2. Monographs and chapters

Open Access to monographs and chapters may be achieved by:

  1. Publishing via an online publishing platform that fully supports the technical, accessibility and preservation requirements necessary to ensure permanent, free to read access to the output for anyone, anywhere with an internet connection.
  2. Publishing with a publisher which permits authors to deposit archival copies of either their final accepted manuscript or the publisher’s final version in a local or subject repository, with or without an embargo period.

2. Open data

The University advocates the highest standards in the management, re-use and open accessibility of research data. It is increasingly the case that research funders require that the data underpinning research is also made available and linked to the research outputs themselves (noting that researchers have the right to a reasonable period of exclusive use of the research data and software they produce). The Library and Learning Centre provides an advice and consultancy service regarding the management of data, and the adoption of standards of good practice. Our commitment to open access to research data is laid out in the University of Dundee Policy to Govern the Management of Research Data.

2.1. Original software created during research activity

Funders, such as the Wellcome Trust and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and an increasing number of academic journals, require researchers to consider dependencies on software and whether bespoke code will need to be made available to enable data to be read and interpreted, and results reproduced or re-analysed. Where new software has been created during research and others could make use of it, open sharing must be considered.

In some instances, it may not be appropriate for researchers to share software outputs. A commercial approach may be required where further funding is sought or, for example, where a commercial partner has been involved in developing or supporting continued use of software.

Researchers should consider whether new software is likely to have greater value to others if incorporated into an existing commercial product or an existing open resource.

3. Open research good practice requirements

To comply with this policy on Open Research, staff and research students must:

  1. Ensure that a full-text copy of the research publication, including the accompanying metadata, is deposited in the University’s institutional repository, Discovery.
  2. Be fully compliant with the publishing requirements of the research funder(s). This may include the deposit of full-text copies of research publications within general or specialist subject repositories, for example, Europe PubMed Central.
  3. Utilise the Creative Commons CC-BY license covering re-use of the research publication, wherever possible.
  4. Work with Research and Innovation Services to ensure that Intellectual Property is appropriately safeguarded throughout the entire publication process.
  5. Ensure that research data associated with the published work is openly available, wherever possible, and research data access is compliant with the research funder guidelines.
  6. Use a reputable specialist repository to ensure software that can be shared is shared in a way that maximises its potential re-use and provide thorough documentation for the user community; this will ensure software is reliable and can be proven to generate reproducible results.
  7. Adhere to University of Dundee policies relating to Open Research including the Policy to Govern the Publication of Research, Policy to Govern the Management of Research Data and Code of Good Practice in Research.

4. Research excellence framework (REF)

All journal articles, and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, must be open access. This policy is likely to extend in future years to cover long-form research outputs, defined as academic monographs, book chapters and edited collections. This policy allows for full compliance with current REF requirements and will adapt to conform to future iterations of REF, and those of major funders.

To meet the current policy requirements governing REF, and to encourage an open research culture, with regard to articles, conference proceedings, academic monographs, book chapters and edited collections, University of Dundee staff and research students must:

  1. Deposit a copy of their accepted and final peer-reviewed manuscript within Discovery, the University’s institutional repository, ideally upon acceptance and not later than 3 months following acceptance, as dictated by REF policy.
  2. Deposit evidence of the date of acceptance within Discovery (typically dated correspondence from the publisher confirming acceptance of the article).
  3. Where possible, deposit a copy of their publisher’s copyright agreement within Discovery.

5. Funding

Funding support for open access publishing is available from research funders and from the University of Dundee institutional fund.

  1. Where dedicated open access publishing funds exist, for example from Wellcome Trust and UKRI, staff in receipt of these grants must make use of them and may do so by contacting the Library and Learning Centre (LLC) Research Services team.
  2. Research which is supported by funders who permit open access costs as part of the application process, must include such costs in the application and ongoing management of these research grants.
  3. Where research is not directly funded, or if the funder does not support open access, staff and research students may apply for funding from the University institutional fund by contacting LLC Research Services.

6. Dissemination and social media

As part of the Open Research agenda the University expects the widest possible dissemination of its research, through both formal and informal methods. The application of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) provides a mechanism to cite work and to allow emerging online tools such as Altmetrics to track the reach and dissemination of research, aiding the evidencing of impact. DOIs can be requested from LLC Research Services and may be applied to a variety of outputs.

Researchers extending the reach and impact of their work using social media, are expected to do so in line with University of Dundee guidance on branding and style.

7. Exemptions and flexibility

In some cases, not all the potential elements of Open Research will be achievable. For example, the open access publication of research outputs may be restricted by the policies of an individual publisher and/or journal, or due to the nature of the research output itself. The research output must still be recorded within Discovery, but it would not be available for open access.

The University acknowledges that the Open Research environment, particularly relating to open access publishing and subscription-based models of access, is undergoing a considerable degree of change. The University accepts justifiable exemptions will occur but requires the ethos of the Open Research agenda to be evident in all research projects.

8. Guidance and monitoring

The LLC Research Services team will provide information and guidance to staff and students regarding all aspects of Open Research including open access publishing, copyright and licencing, choice of publisher and/or journal, choice of repository, funder requirements and measures of impact. This information will be advisory only, and final decisions on the publication of research will be taken by the authors/creators in consultation with their academic managers, in compliance with their funders’ policies.

The University will monitor and report upon the extent of our Open Research activities, with a view to maintaining a favourable trajectory towards a more Open culture.

9. Compliance

Authors, their Schools, Research and Innovation Services, Finance Office, UoD-IT and LLC Research Services will work together to ensure overall compliance with this policy. The University of Dundee is committed to developing an Open Research environment and culture for the benefit of the University, its students, staff and collaborators, and the public as a whole.


As required by the University’s Policy to Govern the Publication of Research, staff and research students must register for an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) and ensure it is recorded in their Discovery profile, to facilitate accurate identification of individual researchers, with the aim of easing administrative burdens for job applications, grant applications and research activity reporting.

11. Assistance with application of policy

The Research Services team within the Library & Learning Centre manages publication data within Discovery, ensuring accuracy and completeness. They will provide support through mediated deposit of publications, Open Access compliance, funder compliance, compliance for future Research Assessment exercise submissions, research data management, Creative Commons licensing and copyright advice, theses archiving, use of Discovery and the Pure platform, the application of DOIs, and any queries relating to publishing including the management of the UKRI, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and Institutional Open Access block grants available within the University for payment of Open Access fees. Support is available via discovery@dundee.ac.uk or via the Director of Library Services (h.whaley@dundee.ac.uk).

If there is uncertainty around the applicability or interpretation of this policy, the matter must be referred to the Convener of the University’s Research Governance & Policy Sub-Committee (contact the Director of Library Services in the first instance: h.whaley@dundee.ac.uk).

Document information

Document name Open Research Policy
Status Approved
Responsible officer/department/school Director of Library Services
Policy owner Research Governance and Policy Sub-Committee
Date last approved 11 July 2023
Due for renewal April 2025 or as required
Information classification: public/internal Public
Location in repository Research, Knowledge & Exchange
Approval route and history Research Policy and Governance Sub-Committee, 21 April 2020
Code RGPSC_200421_ORP_v1
Notes This policy replaces Open Access Policy reference OAP/V2/12.14

Hannah Whaley

Director of Library Services

Corporate information category Research governance