Content Policy

This policy defines the materials which can be deposited to and stored in ORA.

1. ORA

The Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) has been in place as Institutional Repository (IR) for the University of Oxford since 2007, with the purpose of providing a permanent and secure online archive for research materials produced by the members of the University.

ORA supports the University of Oxford's Open Access agenda as well as the principles of the FAIR initiative and DORA to which the University is a signatory. ORA provides University academics a mechanism for compliance with research funder policies such as UKRI and the Wellcome Trust. Compliance with Open Access is becoming increasingly important as more policies become mandated as part of the conditions of funding support. To find out more about Open Access at Oxford and the University of Oxford's Statement on Open Access, please visit the Open Access Oxford website.

The repository, and its content, is managed and maintained by staff within the Bodleian Libraries although various stakeholders around the University are involved with decision making regarding its function.

Material made available via the repository is available to anyone with an Internet connection, and is subject to the use conditions set out at Any items made available via the repository that come under scrutiny or contention with regards to being made available are subject to the ORA Notice and Take-down Policy conditions.

Deposit to the archive requires University authentication. For information with regards to who is eligible to deposit to ORA, please see the ORA Submission Policy. In all cases the ORA Deposit Agreement must be accepted by the depositor as part of the deposit process.

Item types accepted for deposit are detailed in the table below. The metadata collected for each item type are further defined in the ORA Data Model.

2. Item types

Work type Sub-types Notes
Journal article Editorial, Review, Correspondence, Comment, Addendum, Corrigendum, Erratum, Abstract, Letter Pre- and post-prints. Pre-prints are author versions of journal articles prior to the referee process. Post-prints are author or publisher versions of journal articles after successful peer review.

A controlled list is applied as selection for the version of work held and made available in ORA within the ORA Data Model.
Conference item Abstract, Exhibition, Presentation, Poster, Addendum, Corrigendum, Erratum
  • Conference and workshop items by Oxford authors.
  • Conference and workshop items by non-Oxford authors. Papers and other research materials resulting from conferences, research activity, or other research-focussed events, both organised by Oxford academics and taking place at Oxford University.
Thesis Theses programmes classed as research degrees by the University of Oxford can be submitted by current students or alumni who have been granted leave to supplicate. This includes programmes for:
  • Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.)*
  • Master of Letters (M.Litt.)*
  • Master of Science by Research (M.Sc. by Research)*
  • Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.)
  • Master of Studies (M.St.) in Legal Research/Socio-Legal Research
  • Doctor of Medicine (D.M.)
  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych.)
  • Batchelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) (Philosophy)
Taught master dissertations can be submitted to ORA by a member of the Department or Faculty staff with agreement from the student. PG masters students are not eligible to deposit dissertations in ORA.

*For students who began their programme of study on or after 1 October 2007, deposit to ORA is mandatory as part of exam regulations.

Further details can be found at:
Dataset Fileset, Media, Software, Website content, Design Separate policies relating to Datasets in ORA can be found at:
Book Scholarly edition, Edited book, Translation, Addendum, Corrigendum, Erratum, Collection, Catalogue
Book section Chapter, Introduction, Table of contents, Abstract
Working paper Discussion paper
Report Confidential report
Physical object Artifact, Device/Product
Composition Performance
Internet publication E-Book, Blog, Digital magazine, Online video
Ephemera Newsletter, Pamphlet
Record (Contains all of the sub-types listed above) A ‘generic’ deposit item primarily for user testing and development purposes.

3. Discipline/subject

Eligible materials from any discipline including cross-disciplinary works are accepted to the archive.

4. Status

ORA includes peer-reviewed, non-peer reviewed, published and non-published items.

A controlled list is applied for the selection of both the publication status and peer review status of a work held and made available in ORA. The controlled list values are detailed within the ORA Data Model.

ORA contains material that is available and not-available for public dissemination via the user interface. Material may not be publicly available in the repository due to temporary or permanent restriction. Restrictions are commonly applied to materials that:

  • a publisher requires to be embargoed ahead of publication;
  • would invalidate an agreement with an outside body or sponsor who requires an embargo on work before being made available;
  • contain confidential or sensitive material, such as patient data or animal research;
  • in making the content available may invalidate a pending patent application; or,
  • contain third-party copyright material for which permission has not been obtained to make available online via ORA.

5. Language

Items with intellectual content in any language will be accepted (though intellectual content of items is likely to be principally in English).

A controlled list is applied as selection for language, using an automatic look-up to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) terms ISO 639-2 and ISO 639-3.

6. Versions

ORA may make multiple versions of a work available to download via an item record in the repository. Versions may appear as separate records for a title, specifically where an item type has changed (e.g. from a Working paper to a Journal article) or in some cases be an updated version of the content (e.g. a 2018 dataset, and a 2019 dataset).

Links to subsequent versions can be included in an item record. These will appear in the ‘Related items’ section of the ORA record where provided by the depositor or found by repository staff at time of review. In some cases where separate records are used for different versions of a work these may be distinguished by the use of the ‘alternative title’ field.

Where the full text version in ORA is not the ‘latest’ published version of the work, ORA will provide a link to the final version where possible in the item record (usually via an item’s digital object identifier (DOI)).

Multiple versions may differ in:

  • format (e.g. PDF and MS Word)
  • content (later versions whilst retaining earlier copies)
  • layout/typesetting (e.g. author and publisher versions)

Where multiple versions exist as separate files within one digital object, only one persistent URL will be assigned (to the object), and a version name and/or number will be applied to distinguish the content.

Readers may request an update to records within ORA where an error is discovered in the content or with the read of a file. The replacement item will be made available on the same record as the original where possible.

7. Digital file formats

Only digital or digitized items are accepted to ORA. For digitized items, sufficient permissions regarding copyright must have been provided and verified before deposited content can be made available.

ORA does not have the resources to offer a digitisation service, though projects may run from time to time allowing eligible authors to take advantage of any resources made available within a project.

All file types and formats are accepted to the repository. Where obsolete or obscure file formats are deposited sufficient information should be provided alongside the deposit by the depositor containing details on how to access and use the materials. Whilst ORA commits to the storage of the materials it cannot facilitate access through simulation of software where these are no longer supported.

8. Metadata

ORA maintains the practice of sharing and storing metadata associated with its content in line with the Bodleian Libraries Metadata Policy. Available at:

ORA supports and participates in the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). You can find details of the ORA API at

9. Retention

Every effort is made to retain items deposited to ORA.

Digital items produced as a result of research activity at the University of Oxford and deposited by an eligible depositor will be accepted and retained in ORA unless:

  • the item infringes copyright or other rights;
  • the item is in a format which cannot be stored or displayed satisfactorily (see file formats);
  • the item has a virus or other technical problem;
  • in the case of a thesis, the thesis does not meet the requirements for deposit in ORA (i.e. passed, the final accepted version and the student having been granted leave to supplicate).

ORA staff will endeavour to include eligible items [i.e. those that meet the criteria of the content policy] wherever possible. If a depositor leaves the employment of the University of Oxford, their items will be retained in ORA.

ORA will retain multiple versions of the same item (unless the item is affected by the take-down or preservation selection criteria), though only one version – the ‘dissemination’ version – may display.

ORA maintains the practice of preservation and long-term accessibility of its content in line with the Bodleian Libraries Digital Preservation Policy. Available at:

10. Contact

Any queries should be sent to the ORA Helpdesk and will be referred to the appropriate service manager.

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