FAQ – DPhils and OA

    • I am a DPhil student – what do I need to do?

      You will need to deposit a copy of your thesis into ORA. Click here for ORA guidance on Digital Theses.

    • Does the HEFCE requirement apply to DPhil students?

      No, the ‘act on acceptance’ requirement does not apply to research students. While DPhils may publish outputs that are later submitted to REF, those produced while the author was a student are exempt.They are covered by a policy exception, which excludes individuals not employed by a UK HEI at the time of submission for publication from the requirement to act.
      DPhil students are nevertheless still able to deposit their publications into ORA. They may need to request a user account for Symplectic Elements to do so. Information about requesting new accounts can be found here.

    • I am an RCUK-funded DPhil – am I affected by the RCUK OA policy?

      If you are a DPhil student who is funded by a Research Council and you are publishing articles before submitting your thesis, then yes – the OA policy does apply to you. See the next question for what support you can access.

    • What support is there available to me as a DPhil needing to meet RCUK OA requirements? Am I entitled to funds? Where do I find out more about what to do next?

      There is support available to help you determine how best to meet the requirements at Oxford – a good first step is to speak to your subject librarian and he/she will give you further advice on the mechanisms available to publish Open Access, and point you to the University’s RCUK Open Access Block Grant should you require funds to make your paper OA for example. You can also email openaccess@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with any questions.

      You may find these pages on this site helpful:

    • Are theses subject to research funder Open Access policies?

      Theses are not in the April 2013 OA policy from RCUK. However – some theses are subject to OA requirements. The T&C of the Research Council Training Grants – the funding pot for PhD research – includes an expectation that information about the final thesis should be made public and the full thesis made available within 12 months. Please see RCUK Conditions of Research Council Training Grants for more information.

    • There is a mismatch between the RCUK Training Grants policy to make my thesis OA within 12 months and the default embargo at Oxford which is 3 years. What should I do?

      The University’s default embargo is three years unless you are funded by one of the UK Research Councils, in which case the 1-year embargo applies (except for ESRC). Please see ORA’s guidance on funder/sponsor requirements for theses. You may also wish to consult your supervisor.

    • At what point does published research based on data collected during their studentship fall outside of the OA requirements?

      The question of re-use of research data is a tricky one. However, if the student is required to credit RCUK as the funder in their published output, then they should comply with RCUK’s OA policy.

      For example: if an RCUK-funded DPhil writes a thesis based on their research while they are RCUK funded, then makes their thesis open access in accordance with the rules of their Training Grant, then goes on to do additional post-doc research funded from another source, though building on the data collected during their DPhil, they wouldn’t be subject to the RCUK policy, because the second research project, even though it draws on existing data, is a separate exercise.

      However, if they adapt the thesis into a journal article using content which is broadly the same as the thesis, then RCUK requirements should be met, and funding received during their doctorate acknowledged. If they are using data collected during the DPhil which has not yet been used for their thesis or any published work, they ought to comply and acknowledge RCUK.

      NB. Book chapters are not subject to the OA policy requirements of RCUK.

    • If I am an AHRC-funded doctoral student but this is not tied to a specific piece of work, does this make all my publications RCUK-funded for the purposes of this exercise?

      Yes.