Library Services


UCL Publications Policy 2012

UCL's Publications Policy, which applies to all of UCL's research publications in all disciplines.


The UCL Open Access Mandate

1. UCL Academic Board, in May 2009, agreed two principles to underpin UCL's publication activity and to support its scholarly mission:

  • That, copyright permissions allowing, a copy of all research outputs should be deposited in the UCL repository in Open Access.
  • That individual UCL academic researchers should be directly responsible for providing and maintaining details of their publications in relevant UCL databases so as to support both Open Access and the requirement for UCL to keep an accurate record of its research outputs.


2. There are a number of reasons why researchers will benefit from using UCL Discovery, which is a one-stop shop for managing their research publications:

  • Not all researchers outside UCL have access to all the research outputs which UCL produces. This problem is solved through making them available via Open Access in UCL Discovery. Researchers will thereby gain greater visibility for their work.
  • The benefits which the Open Access mandate delivers (which are listed below) will only be delivered to researchers if they comply with the policy.
  • Compliance will support UCL's Knowledge Transfer and other agendas by making UCL's research outputs visible to new communities who do not have access to commercial content.
  • Rapid and open dissemination of UCL research to Society across the globe.
  • Influencing senior policy and decision makers, based on the evidence which UCL research makes available.
  • Supporting the UCL Grand Challenges.
  • Marketing UCL to prospective students,


3. UCL Discovery, which comprises a series of interlinked systems, will hold a public record of UCL research. The following services will be available:

(a) to UCL researchers:

  • UCL Discovery provides each researcher with a central hub for a comprehensive personal record of his/her outputs, which is easy to maintain and keep up-to-date
  • Ability to make publications data and links to full-text available via Departmental or personal webpages
  • Download statistics, available to UCL researchers, reportable by publication, by researcher, or by academic unit. Public reports will be periodically published through the repository website
  • UCL Discovery will serve the Professorial Appraisal Review (PAR) System with publications data
  • Customisable reports can be used to support documents such as a curriculum vitae, promotion submission or grant submission
  • Long-term storage and preservation of all deposited documents
  • UCL Discovery will provide article- and author-level bibliometric measures, such as citation counts and the h-index
  • The maintenance of a complete and accurate record of UCL research will support UCL's management reporting and preparation for external research assessment exercises

(b) to external communities

  • The automatic exposure of UCL research outputs to Google, Google Scholar and other search engines
  • Current awareness services, such as customisable RSS feeds, to alert interested parties to new UCL research publications
  • The supply of publications data to other aggregators
  • Bibliometric and publications data from UCL Discovery will be used for UCL management reporting in support of research assessment


4. The UCL mandate applies to all UCL's research publications in all disciplines. UCL research publications may be defined as the secondary research outputs created, individually or in collaboration with others, by UCL researchers, in any format. Note that UCL researchers are also encouraged to deposit details and copies of publications authored while at other institutions.

5. Material which falls outside this definition, such as journalism which references UCL research or departments but which is not directly attributable to UCL researchers, can nonetheless be stored via UCL IRIS (now Profiles), since it contributes to the impact of UCL's research output.


6. UCL researchers will maintain their publication record through UCL Discovery, using the RPS (UCL Research Publications Service) tools. Introductory information and guidance is available.

7. UCL researchers will be directly responsible for the upkeep of details of their publications in UCL Discovery. To facilitate this, some publications data will be automatically harvested from external sources, subject to availability, but it will be the responsibility of every UCL researcher to ensure that his or her publications record is up to date.

8. In order to comply with UCL's Open Access mandate, researchers should upload full text of their publications to UCL Discovery, where copyright permissions allow. Advice on the copyright issues relating to full text deposit is available. UCL has a robust copyright framework and further information is given in section 13.

9. Where researchers have published in fully Open Access journals, the metadata and links to the full-text are being collected and lodged in RPS. However, it is the researcher's own responsibility to ensure that the record in the relevant UCL systems is correct.



10. The requirement to deposit copies of research in UCL Discovery will be monitored by periodic reporting (broken down by academic departments) of the proportion of recorded research outputs which are held in full text.

Data quality

11. The maintenance of an accurate publications record will be the responsibility of each UCL researcher. Guidance on the minimum bibliographic quality requirements for different types of research output is available online through UCL Discovery.

12. Publication records held within UCL Discovery may be amended by UCL Library Services staff and UCL Academic Services staff to support external research assessment and other reporting purposes. Priorities for such quality assurance will periodically be agreed by UCL Publications Board.


13. UCL has a well-developed copyright framework which recognises the rights which UCL staff and students have in the work they produce. These policies are permissive of the Open Access approach enshrined in the mandate. Where material has been commercially published, Open Access to that material will only be possible where the publisher's copyright policy allows this. The SHERPA Romeo website gives details of what is and is not possible, and all copyright permissions will be checked by UCL Library Services staff before full text publications are accepted into UCL Discovery. Further advice is available from the UCL Discovery support team.

Research funders' Open Access policies

14. Research funders increasingly make stipulations about Open Access publication when awarding grants. Advice on compliance with the policies of individual research funders is available from UCL Library Services.