Open access and publications

I’m a new member of staff and I’d like to add my publications to my profile page on the website. What do I need to do?

The publications list on your personal profile is updated from the University’s repository. Publications made publicly available in the repository normally appear on your profile page within 24 hours.

If you have published papers before coming to Surrey, send us the details and we will add them to the repository for you.

For any new papers, please send us the acceptance email and the final accepted version of the paper and we’ll do the rest: we will create a record of your publication, check the publisher’s copyright policy and, if it allows us to, make your paper available in the repository. Please note that in many cases the publisher requires an embargo to be applied. The full text will be available to download at the end of the embargo.

I’m worried that posting my paper in the repository will breach the copyright agreement I signed or my publisher’s copyright conditions and they will refuse to publish my paper. What should I do?

There is no need to worry. On no account will we make public any version of your paper that breaches your publisher’s licensing and copyright conditions. Before posting your papers in the repository, we always make sure that we have the correct version – usually the Author’s Accepted Version or Post-print. Then we check your publisher’s copyright conditions to see whether or not we are allowed to post your paper. If your publisher requires an embargo, we will post the metadata and restrict access to the full text of your paper until the embargo has expired.  

If you have any concerns about this, please contact us at

My publisher insists on a full press embargo. Should I still send you my new publication or wait until the embargo is lifted?

It’s very important that you send us the acceptance email and author’s accepted manuscript as soon as possible. We will not post your paper or the metadata until after the press embargo has been lifted. If your publisher insists on a full press embargo, let us know and we will check with your publisher to see what information can be made public and when.

Please note: if you or your publisher have asked for your publication to be embargoed in this way, you must let us know as soon as the embargo is lifted so that we can make it publicly available. If you don’t tell us, your publication will risk not being eligible for the REF.

What is SRI Open Access?

SRI Open Access is the University’s open access repository.. It contains publicly visible records, many of which have freely available full text. Publications available in SRI Open Access rank highly on Google searches and have been downloaded over 5 million times from over 200 countries.  

You can view the repository at To add your papers to the repository, please e-mail us the papers at and we will upload them for you, following copyright checking.

I’m trying to login into the University’s repository, but I can’t. How can I add/upload my publications?

As of 1st April 2016, you no longer need to log into the repository yourself; we offer a fully mediated service for uploading papers. This is to ensure that we comply with HEFCE's requirements to deposit on acceptance.

Once you have a paper accepted for publication, please forward the acceptance email and the final accepted version of the paper to us and we will do the rest for you. We aim to upload newly accepted papers within 20 days of receipt.

For older papers and other research outputs, please send us the publication details and the accepted manuscript if you have it. We aim to upload these papers within 30 days of receipt.

If you wish to make any changes to your existing publications please let us know and we will update make the changes for you.

How can I find out download numbers for of my papers?

Please see Repository Statistics, to view reports on: the number of full text downloads over a specified period; the countries the paper has been downloaded from; most popular papers; and searches used to find your papers. These reports enable you to monitor which of your papers are attracting the most interest. They can also be very useful when you are preparing promotion or funding applications.

If my papers are on SRI Open Access, can I also put them in other Open Access repositories?

Yes you can, as long as the publisher's copyright policy allows this.  Some publishers only allow posting in a subject repository, like PubMed Central (PMC); some only allow posting on your employer’s repository, like the University’s repository; and some allow both.

Please note: if you are funded by the MRC, you are required to make your research outputs available via Europe PMC within six months of publication. BBSRC encourages you to do the same.

It is important to bear in mind that sites like ResearchGate and are not repositories; they are social networking and sharing platforms and most publishers do not allow you to upload your papers there.

Why should I post my papers in SRI Open Access and not on my own website?

University policy requires you to make your papers available on SRI Open Access, the University’s repository. Your University staff profile page is updated from the repository, so you don’t have to enter this information manually on your website.

There are several good reasons why the University repository is the required place for your publications:

  • SRI Open Access ensures maximum visibility of your research. Open access repositories rank more highly in search engine searches than personal websites. If your research appears high on the list of search results, and there is a link to a free and immediately available copy, potential readers are more likely to favour that copy.
  • SRI Open Access is copyright-assured. When you send your papers to us for posting, we always check your publisher’s copyright policy to ensure that there is no breach of their conditions.
  • SRI Open Access is recognised by research funders, and meets the open access criteria for the next REF. Personal websites are not recognised as open access repositories.

To add your papers in SRI Open Access, please e-mail us your papers and we will upload them for you, after checking copyright. If you have an additional personal website and would like to post your publications there, you can do so, as long as your publisher’s policy allows it.  

I want to promote my research, can you help?

Making your paper available in an open access repository is the first step; so please make sure you send us the details of any new and past papers you have.

However, this is only the first step. There numerous ways further to promote your open access paper. These include:

  • Linking to the paper from your existing web pages/professional profiles. For example, if you have a personal website in addition to your University website, are on LinkedIn or have a Google Scholar profile, make sure you list any new publications.
  • Alerting your followers to the paper on any social media that you use (e.g. Twitter, Facebook or Google+). These include academic social media (e.g. ResearchGate, 

However, please be aware that in most cases publishers do not allow you to add the full text of your papers on those sites; instead, please link to the papers in the repository.

  • Using blog posts, discussion forums or YouTube videos to discuss your research in different ways and for different audiences.

Whichever promotion channels you choose, please make sure you maintain a consistent researcher profile, so that others can recognise you and correctly attribute your work to you. Having an ORCID number is the simplest way of ensuring this.

Finally, if you think your research would make a good media story or would be of interest to the wider public, please contact the University’s Media Relations team or visit the Public Engagement page.

Once my work is on SRI Open Access, how can others find it?

Uploading your full text to Surrey Research Insight makes it freely available to anyone able to connect to the Internet, without fee or password barriers.

SRI Open Access rates highly on Google Scholar, being readily identified as research material. Your research is highly visible and easy to access.  Most hits to the repository originate from keyword searches on Google and Google scholar.

Researchers can also search SRI directly from  

I do not have the author’s accepted manuscript (AAM) of my papers. What can I do?

Check with co-authors to see if any of them has a copy. If no one does, please make sure that you retain the accepted versions of your future papers: in most cases, this is the version that the publisher allows you to share in the repository.

My paper is to be published in an Open Access journal. Can I just send you the PDF once the paper is published online?

Yes, you can. However, please note that it is best practice to send your accepted manuscript to us on acceptance. Once the open access paper is published, we can replace the accepted manuscript with the published PDF if you send it to us.

My paper has just been conditionally accepted, subject to revisions. Is this the version I need to send you?

No; the version to send us must be the finally, unconditionally accepted version. This updated version includes all changes resulting from peer review, plus any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. Please also see the diagram below (from the HEFCE website; reproduced with permission).

flowchart of versions
Can I send you a proof copy of my paper for the repository?

No; most publishers do not allow any copy-edited/typeset version to be open access. Please send us your own accepted version (also known as post-print or author’s accepted manuscript).

Research data

How can I connect my publication and the data that supports it?

The easiest way is to give your data a DOI  and include it in your data access statement on your publication. Datasets with DOIs are easy for people to cite and helps you track their use.

How do I get a DOI for my data?

Data repositories can issue you a DOI for any of the data you share through their platform. See our guidance on getting your research discovered for more about repositories. If you can’t find a suitable external data repository, Surrey has its own data repository you can use. Feel free to email us ( if you have any questions about data repositories.

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

A DMP is a planning document that outlines the way in which you will collect, organize, document, store, secure, share, and preserve the data produced during a project. It’s the roadmap for you and your collaborators to follow and revisit during your research project. DMPs are required for all research projects by University policy and most funders require them as part of the bid process. See more at Data Management Plans.

How do I write a DMP? Can you help me write my DMP?

Surrey provides access to DMPOnline, a customizable tool that guides you through writing a DMP. The tool provides funder specific guidance and includes Surrey relevant info as well. Our team is happy to answer specific questions related to your DMP, but unfortunately we can’t commit to a full review of your DMP. For more see our guidance on Data Management Plans.

Do I have to share my data?

Most likely! Most funders and the University expects you to share your data unless there are ethical, legal, or commercial reasons to restrict access. However, all data must be preserved regardless of whether it is shared. Be sure to check your funder’s requirements and our guidance on preserving your outputs.

What data should I share?

In general, anything that someone might need to validate/replicate your findings or that someone could reuse. See more at Preserving your outputs.  

How do I share my data?

There are many general and disciplinary specific data repositories that accept all types of data. Once you’ve found a repository and deposited your data, you’ll want to let us know so we can create an official university record of where the data is located by emailing

  • What about preservation?
    Some data repositories that share your data preserve it as well. See if your data repository has a preservation policy that commits to preserving your data for at least ten years. Check their policies to find out. If you’ve already shared your data with a repository that commits to preserving it for at least ten years, then your data has been appropriately preserved!
  • What data needs to be preserved?
    You’ll want to keep any data that can validate or verify your published works as well as anything that may be of historic interest or is difficult, costly, or impossible to recreate. Data that can be easily replicated does not need to be preserved.
How do I share my data safely and securely with my collaborators?

Contact your Faculty IT Officer for more information, especially if you intend to use a cloud-based service for sharing. IT will be able to advise you on the safest way to do this.


Faculty IT Officers:

Dave Smiles (FASS)

John Briggs (FHMS)

Rod Russell (FEPS)

Staff profile pages

I have sent a new publication to SRI Open Access, but still it does not appear in the repository. Why is that?

We aim to upload all newly accepted papers in the repository within 20 working days of receipt, and all other outputs within 30 days of receipt.

Why is my public staff page not displaying the records already showing in the University’s repository?

Please note that staff profile pages normally update from the repository within 48 hours. If your staff profile page has still not updated after that time, please contact us.

Some of my publication’s details on my webpage are missing or incorrect/duplicated. What should I do?

Please e-mail us at with the details and we will update/correct them for you. When your webpage updates (usually within 48 hours) the updated information should appear automatically.

Appraisal (A2 publications sheet)

I have just received my A2 publications sheet and some articles are missing. What should I do?

Reports to produce A2 sheets are run on a particular date (specified on your appraisal guidance), and are not re-run for that round of appraisals. If you sent us your publication after the date when your A2 sheet was created, the publication will not appear on the sheet.

  • If you have already sent us the publications to be uploaded into the repository, contact us at and let us know which ones are missing. We will check the details in the repository and update the details to make sure they appear on your next A2 sheet.
  • If you haven’t sent the publications yet, please let us have them as soon as possible. We will upload them into the repository so they should appear on your next A2 sheet.  

In the meantime, make a note of any missing publications so you can discuss them at your appraisal meeting.

I have received my A2 publication sheet and I noticed that some of my journal articles appear as "other work". What can I do?

Contact us at and let us know which ones have been wrongly classified as “other work”. We will update the details in the repository to make sure your publications appear correctly on your next A2 sheet.

In the meantime, make a note of these publications so you can discuss them at your appraisal meeting.

I have received my A2 publication sheet and I noticed that some information regarding my papers needs to be corrected or updated. What can I do?

Contact us at and let us know which ones need correcting or updating. We will update the details in the repository to make sure your publications appear correctly on your next A2 sheet.

In the meantime, make a note of these publications so you can discuss them at your appraisal meeting.

Can the A2 publication sheet be re-run in order to capture the corrected information?

The Library is not responsible for running the A2 publication sheet, so unfortunately we are unable to re-run the reports.
If a publication record on your A2 sheet is missing or needs updating, please make a note on your appraisal form and to include it in your appraisal. Please also e-mail us at so that we make sure the record is included/updated for your next appraisal.

Applying for open access funds

Should I choose the green or gold Open Access option?

The University’s default position is Green Open Access. A Gold Open Access option will be considered if:

  • The journal doesn’t have a Green option.
  • The Green option doesn’t ensure timely and wise exposure to the work. This means embargoes of longer than 6 months for science and technology subjects and longer than 12 months for social sciences and humanities.
  • For RCUK-funded publications: the Green option does not meet the funder’s open access requirements.
Am I eligible for funding?

Publication criteria:

  • Peer-reviewed research article or proceedings paper.
  • (RCUK-funded publications): publication arises wholly or partially from RCUK-funded research.

Journal criteria:

  • (Where applicable)The journal’s Gold option meets the funder’s open access requirements.

Author criteria:
The corresponding author and/or grant holder is a current member of Surrey, with either Staff or Research Postgraduate (for PhD students whose research is Research Council funded) status.

Can the University help me pay for publisher’s Article Processing Charge (APC) to make my paper open access?

Yes, we have two funds available:

  • The RCUK budget, managed by RIS, which covers RCUK-funded journal articles and conference proceedings.
  • The  Research Strategy budget, managed by the Library, which covers non-RCUK-funded journal articles and conference proceedings.

The journal criteria for applying are the same for both budgets. You can apply online using the APC request form.

If we are unable to cover the charges, funding may be available from your School or Faculty.

My research is not funded by the RCUK. Can you still cover my publication/open access costs?

If your research is supported by a non-RCUK funder (e.g. the Wellcome Trust or the Leverhulme Trust) please double-check whether they can cover the open access costs for your paper. Some funders require these costs to be written into the grant in advance.

If your publication costs cannot be covered by your funder, and your publication/journal meets the eligibility criteria, the Library may be able to cover your publication/open access costs from its Research Strategy budget. Please apply using the APC request form

How do I request funds to cover the publisher’s Article Processing Charge (APC) to make my paper open access?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, please complete the APC request form. For RCUK-funded publications, your form is forwarded to RIS for a decision.

My request for funds was approved, what do I need to do now?

We will contact you shortly with all the information on how proceed. This will include contact details for invoicing, our VAT number and licence requirements.


I am applying/have received funding for my publication to be Gold Open Access. Which copyright licence should I choose?

A Gold open access option usually comes with a range of Creative Commons Licences to choose from. A Creative Commons Licence specifies how others can re-use your open access work, e.g. under what terms they can re-share it, whether they can create derivative works and whether they can re-use it commercially. Attribution to you as the author of the original work is always required.

The most liberal of the licences is the CC-BY (currently CC-BY 4.0) licence, which allows users to share the work in any medium or format, as well as adapt the work, even for commercial purposes. The user is required to give appropriate credit to you as the author, provide a link to the licence and indicate if any changes were made.

If you choose the Gold route and are funded by the RCUK, this is the licence that you are required to choose. The Wellcome Trust also requires this licence if you are paying an open access fee.

By default, the University also supports the CC-BY licence. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your options further.

What happens if my publication is online but is in breach of copyright? Would my publisher refuse to publish my paper?

Before we make your publications publicly available, we check the publisher’s copyright conditions and apply an embargo if necessary. We will only make your paper publicly available if and when your publisher allows it. We also make sure that the version that we post online can be shared. This is usually the author’s accepted version. Most publishers’ copyright policies do not allow you to share the published PDF.

In the highly unlikely event of a copyright breach, the publisher will not refuse to publish your paper: instead, they will require that the copy shared online be removed. We have an immediate take-down policy for such cases.

Can I upload my publications to ResearchGate and other social media without breaching my publisher’s copyright?

Most publishers allow author’s accepted versions to be shared in institutional or subject repositories, but do not allow sharing on commercial social networking websites like ResearchGate and Currently, ResearchGate does not have in place any copyright-compliance mechanisms acceptable to publishers. As a result, researchers have shared work that is in breach of copyright. In 2017, several publishers brought ResearchGate to court, alleging copyright infringement on a mass scale.

Please send us your publications for uploading at the University repository. We make sure that every paper is copyright-compliant. You can still share a list of your publications on Researchgate, with links to the repository.

How do I find out what my publisher's copyright policy is? / Who checks the publisher's copyright policy?

The Open Research team in the Library check every paper they receive against the publisher’s copyright policy. In particular:

  • Which version can be shared.
  • When the paper can be shared; we apply an embargo if required.
  • We include a link to the published version, a copyright disclaimer or licence and any other information the publisher requires us to include.

Your publisher’s copyright policy can usually be found under the Instructions for Authors section on the journal website. However, the definitive source of this information is the copyright transfer agreement or license to publish that you are sent to sign. Please read this carefully and keep it safe.

My publisher has sent me a Copyright Agreement. Should I sign it?

Your publisher will expect you to sign the copyright transfer agreement form before your paper goes into production. In most cases, this agreement will transfer the copyright to the publisher; usually the agreement also specifies what rights you retain, including the right to share your paper in repositories, and the conditions for doing this.

Please do read carefully any documents that your publisher asks you to sign, and keep them for future reference. If you have any concerns before you sign, please contact us at

Please note: The University’s Intellectual Property Code specifies that the copyright of any work you generate in the course of your employment belongs to the University. With respect to scholarly publications, the University grants you an unlimited licence to facilitate publication: where possible, you are advised not to sign the copyright away to the publisher and apply the terms of a licence to publish instead.


I have passed my Viva examination and all revisions on my thesis have been approved. I am aware that I must deposit my thesis to a Library system, but I’m not sure where.

Please go to the SRI repository to upload your thesis. To do this, log in with your University account details.

Why do I need to deposit my thesis in SRI open access?

University regulations require that you deposit an electronic copy of your final thesis in SRI Open Access. You will not be permitted to graduate until you have done this.

This is in line with other University policies worldwide, to support timely open access to research. An open access thesis is highly visible and easily discovered on Google searches; its content is available to the widest possible audience, to ensure your doctoral research has maximum impact.

Your thesis will also be discoverable via the British Library EThOS service.

How can I deposit my thesis with the library?

You can find guidance on this here

Which version of my thesis do I need to deposit?

The version you need to deposit is the final corrected version of your thesis, which has been approved by the examiners.  This is called the ‘Version of Record’.  

When and how do I request an embargo?

You and your supervisor may decide that you need to restrict access to the thesis for a specified period. To do this, you need to provide a reason that qualifies as an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Restricting Access form lists these reasons/exemptions, with their appropriate embargo lengths.

When you are about to submit your Examination Entry Form?
  1. Print, complete and sign the Restricting Access Form. Please provide adequate information for the reasons to request an embargo, as necessary.
  2. Hand the form to your principal supervisor along with the completed Entry Form for Examination.
  3. Your principal supervisor must sign this form to indicate that the supervisory team agree with your decision to restrict access to your thesis. If your thesis is of commercial interest, a signature from the Director of Technology Transfer is also necessary.

If you have any questions regarding the restriction criteria or on completing the form, now is the time to contact us. This will help avoid unnecessary delays at the time of deposit.

When you are about to deposit your final thesis?

Upload the signed Restricting Access Form as an additional document to your thesis record. The form will not be visible to the public.

How much detail must I give when requesting an embargo?

As well as ticking the box to choose the appropriate reason for requesting an embargo, you must also give information about your reasons for requesting an embargo. It is not enough to say that you are hoping to publish an article based on your thesis. The same information should be added to the ‘Comments and suggestions’ field in the ‘Details’ tab when you upload your thesis.

Why do I need to justify why I want an embargo on my thesis when I have chosen one of the grounds of exemption(s) allowed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000?

The supporting statement of an embargo is very important as it is our only evidence that you and your supervisor have agreed to embargo the thesis, and on what grounds. For instance, in case an external reader – or even your funder, if you have one – makes a request under the Freedom of Information Act to see your thesis, the University can deny access based on that evidence.

How do I deposit separate files, eg the restricting access form, after I have deposited my thesis?

If you have already deposited your thesis but wish to make any changes, including adding or replacing  additional files (e.g. a restricting access form), please e-mail us at We will retrun the record to you so that you can edit it and attach a file, if necessary.

Can I extend the embargo to my thesis?

You can request an extension of an embargo by contacting us at The extended embargo will always be for one year. You will need to give us some information about the reasons for the extension, e.g. if you have a publication under review or in press, providing details of the publication.

When will my thesis be available in the repository?

We will make your thesis publicly available in the repository within two weeks after we have been notified by the Research Degrees team that you have been awarded the degree.

In total, please expect about a month between depositing your thesis and seeing the thesis public in the repository.

How do I access a thesis in SRI?

You can use the advanced search function to search by title or author name:

If I have published journal articles during my PhD, can I add them to my thesis?

Published journal articles to which the publisher owns the copyright are considered to be third-party copyrighted material, even if you are the author. To include these articles in your thesis you need to get permission from the publisher.

You can use this template to seek permission:
I am the author of the following work published by (insert publisher's name):

[Provide a full citation for your work]

I wish to include this work in my thesis, which I am required to deposit in Surrey Research Insight, the University of Surrey’s repository ( The repository is non-commercial and openly available to all.

I would be grateful if you could advise if this will be acceptable.

I have been unable to get copyright permission for some of the third-party material in my thesis. Can I still deposit my thesis?

Please submit two versions:

  1. The version of record (full version, with the third party material included. This version will be permanently restricted.
  2. A redacted version: identical to the version of record except for the copyrighted material deleted. If possible, please provide a link to the website where the material was found (e.g. if it is an image or a map).  The link can be accompanied by a brief sentence “Material removed due to copyright, but can be viewed at…” This version will be made public.
How can I access the full text of a thesis for research purposes when only the title and abstract exist in the repository?

Contact us at We will obtain the digitised thesis and email you when the item has been uploaded to the repository.

I have found a record of a thesis in the British Library EThOS service. How do I access the full text?

You will need to register with EThOS the first time you want to download a thesis or order one for digitisation. If the thesis has not already been digitised, there will be a charge for this, which will show as you place your order.

Where we are

University Library, George Edwards Building,  University of Surrey,  Guildford,  Surrey GU2 7XH,  United Kingdom T: +44 (0)1483 689235 F: +44 (0)1483 689500

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