Submission Policy

This policy sets out the criteria for who is eligible to deposit materials in ORA, conditions surrounding submission, and specific criteria for theses.

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 and its Open Access content is available to anyone with an Internet connection, though deposit to the archive requires University authentication. 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.

2. Submission Process

There are three routes of deposit to ORA:

  1. Deposit via Symplectic Elements
  2. Deposit through the ORA interface
  3. Ingest via API (bulk import)

Each route provides a mechanism for specific types of material based on business need and workflows in processing each item type. The deposit routes and further information on using them can be accessed at:

In all cases the ORA Deposit Agreement must be accepted. As part of the agreement depositors confirm that the materials being deposited:

  • do not infringe data protection principles;
  • contain no violation of copyrighted works, or that any content where third-party agreement has not been granted that a suitable dissemination version of the work has been provided;
  • that contain any commercially sensitive material have been indicated to be restricted access in line with any embargo period to be imposed, and details provided to repository staff.

Submission of a deposit to ORA can be made at any time. The University of Oxford currently encourages authors to ‘Act on Acceptance’ in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF). See:

When undertaking a deposit, depositors are presented with a deposit form to complete that contains fields relevant to the selected item type. Mandatory fields to be completed are indicated in the form. Though each deposit undergoes a ‘review’ by repository staff, depositors are advised to provide as much accurate data as is available to assist with the accuracy and final ‘presentation’ of the work in the ORA record.

In some cases, material submitted to the repository may not be made available immediately (or indefinitely) depending on the rights asserted within the works, issues regarding sensitive content, or as the result of policy imposed by an external body (such as a publisher or research sponsor). Where a specific version or title cannot be made available this would be kept in the repository as an archive copy, restricted from public view.

3. Eligible content/depositors

In order to be eligible for inclusion within ORA, material deposited must hold a connection or affiliation with the University of Oxford. This may be that an author or contributor to the intellectual content of the material holds personal affiliation to the University as a student or employee (e.g. staff, academic or administrative), or that the material is owned, managed, and maintained by a unit of the University of Oxford (such as an academic department or similar). The affiliation to the University must be clear in the research content being deposited and/or with the Division or department group making the deposit.

This may also include materials that meet any of the following conditions:

  • materials produced for or the result of a conference or event held at the University of Oxford;
  • material produced from research undertaken using University of Oxford facilities;
  • work undertaken in the name of the University of Oxford, by visiting researchers or other temporary staff;
  • materials of current eligible depositors that was produced whilst affiliated to another institution (should they wish to have this included).

Materials may be deposited by a delegate on behalf of an author, multiple authors, or a research group. It is assumed that the depositor has obtained permission to do so from the author(s) and the depositor has responsibility for ensuring this has been done.

The validity and authenticity of the content of submissions is the sole responsibility of the depositor.

Each deposit made to ORA will be assessed by a member of the repository staff for eligibility of inclusion. ORA reserves the right to make exceptions, provided that the material for inclusion in the repository has the approval of an appropriate person of responsibility within the Division, such as a Head of Department, and the other policy conditions are met.

An academic staff member is required to act as steward for the material and as the University of Oxford contact should any questions or queries arise of the content.

Material eligible for deposit in ORA, and further information on how the content is manged is detailed in the ORA Content Policy.

3.1 Theses

Any member of the University of Oxford, or Oxford alumni, who holds a postgraduate degree by research granted by Oxford University is eligible to deposit their thesis in ORA.

Authors who wish to deposit theses awarded as part of a degree at an institution other than Oxford may like to find out if that institution has a repository in which they can deposit their thesis.

For eligible depositors, the conditions for deposit are that:

  • the degree is classed as a degree by research by the University of Oxford, or is included in the list of eligible programmes;
  • leave to supplicate has been granted;
  • the digital copy should be the final approved version as it was passed by the examiners with all corrections included;
  • a digital version is submitted (ORA cannot offer a digitisation service at the present time);
  • inclusion of the thesis in ORA will not infringe copyright or any other rights, including those rights of material included in the thesis where copyright is held by a third party;
  • the author agrees to the ORA deposit statement for theses;
  • any extension to restriction on access (beyond the default embargoes available to be applied at deposit) are approved by the supervisor, or other appropriate person in the department which granted leave to supplicate.

ORA reserves the right to refuse any item if any of these conditions are not met, or in other exceptional circumstances.

4. Contact

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

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