Research Councils' Open Access and research data policies

Information for Research Council UK-funded doctoral researchers

If you are a doctoral researcher funded by a UK Research Council you need to be aware of the Research Councils’ Open Access and research data policies and what you have to do to comply with them when you:

  • deposit an electronic version of your thesis in CentAUR, the University’s institutional repository, or,
  • publish your research.

This web page tells you what you need to know about these policies and the University and external services that you should use in order to comply with their requirements. The information provided here is also available for download as a PDF: Information for RCUK-funded doctoral researchers

Does this apply to me?

Research Council requirements apply to you if you receive any Research Council funding, either directly or indirectly. These policies apply if you are:

  • fully funded by a UK Research Council under a studentship award;
  • funded by a Research Council under a CASE studentship;
  • funded by the University using Research Council Doctoral Training Centre, Partnership or Grant funding.

When do the Research Councils’ policies apply?

These policies apply when you publish the outputs of your research. This applies both during the course of your doctorate at Reading and after you graduate if the published work is based on your doctoral research. Publication - in this context - may be understood as:

  • depositing an electronic version of an awarded PhD thesis (e-thesis) in CentAUR, such that it is publicly accessible (in accordance with University requirements, see Electronic deposition of doctoral theses) or,
  • being a named author on a peer-reviewed paper published in a scholarly journal or in conference proceedings.

Publication in either of these senses carries obligations under the Conditions of Research Council Training Grants, the RCUK Policy on Open Access, and the research data policies of the individual Research Councils. By meeting these obligations students will also satisfy several aspects of the University policies on Open Access and Research Data Management.

Conditions of Research Council Training Grants

The Conditions of Research Council Training Grants require that in the case of PhD theses funded by Research Councils:

  • metadata describing the thesis should be lodged in the institution's repository as soon as possible after the award;
  • a full text version of the thesis should be available online within a maximum of 12 months following the award.
  • students must publish the results of their research in accordance with the RCUK Policy on Open Access (see below).

Research Councils' policy on Open Access

The RCUK Policy on Open Access http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/openaccess/policy/ requires peer-reviewed papers arising from their funded research to be published on an Open Access basis, i.e. made freely available via the internet for users to access, copy, use, modify and distribute.

How to comply

Doctoral researchers can comply with the Policy by publishing papers as Open Access journal articles (gold Open Access) and/or by depositing the author final manuscripts accepted by publishers in CentAUR (green Open Access). Guidance on how to do this is provided in the University Open Access web pages.

  • To publish as gold Open Access, students should apply for funding to cover article processing charges (APCs) to oarequests@reading.ac.uk;
  • To publish as green Open Access by depositing in CentAUR, students should contact centaur@reading.ac.uk.

The funding Research Council must be acknowledged in the article. The acknowledgement statement must include the full name of the funder and the training grant number, using the format followed in these two examples provided in the Conditions of Research Council Training Grants (clauses 102-103):

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxxx].

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

This funder information should also be included in the metadata record in CentAUR.

Research Councils' policies on research data

Research Councils' policies on research data require data collected or generated by research that supports published research findings (which could include e-theses) to be preserved over the long-term and (where no legal, ethical or commercial restrictions apply) made publicly available. This is so that research claims may be verified and the data may be re-usable by other researchers for new research purposes.

How to comply

Doctoral researchers can comply with this policy by registering data in the University of Reading's Research Data Archive and depositing the data here or in a suitable external data service. Some Research Councils manage data services (NERC data centres, the ESRC UK Data Archive, and the AHRC Archaeology Data Service), and various subject-specific and general-purpose services also exist.

All data must be registered with the University by creating a metadata record in the University’s Research Data Archive, whether the data are deposited in the Archive or in an external service.

A reference to the data, known as a Data Access Statement should be included in the related publication. Guidance on how to register and deposit data can be found on the University's Research Data Archive web page.

Guidance on external services that may be used to archive and publish data is provided on the University’s Research Data Management website.

Training on Open Access and research data

A course on Open Access and research data for RCUK-funded doctoral researchers is run every year by the Graduate School as part of the RRDP. All RCUK-funded doctoral researchers will receive an email about the training. This course will give you all the information you need to ensure you can comply with the Research Council and University policies on Open Access and Research data when you publish the outputs of your research. If you are a doctoral researcher funded by a Research Council you are strongly advised to attend this course. You will be notified of course dates in advance. If you wish to enquire about the course please contact the Graduate School gradschool@reading.ac.uk.

Help and further information

If you require assistance or have further questions please address enquires as follows: RCUK Open Access Policy, Open Access publishing, CentAUR and e-thesis deposit: centaur@reading.ac.uk. Research Councils’ research data policies and the University Research Data Archive: researchdata@reading.ac.uk.  

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