Open Research Online (ORO) Policies

Outlined below are policies that govern the management of metadata and files stored in the Open Research Online (ORO) repository.

Collection Policy

  1. ORO is the institutional repository of research publications for The Open University
  2. Publications collected in ORO are restricted to:
    • research publications which meet the Frascati Definition of Research
    • research publications which do not meet the Frascati Definition may be included on a case-by-case basis to support the mission of The Open University (See Content Guidance)
  3. Full text of publications collected in ORO may include:
    • unpublished ‘pre-prints’, including those that have not been peer reviewed
    • the full text of the author’s final peer reviewed manuscripts, also known as Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM) or ‘post-prints’
    • the final published version
  4. Full text will be added to ORO depending on the conditions of the copyright-holder’s policy

Deposit Policy

  1. Items may normally only be deposited by research staff and students of the OU, or their delegated agents. Other OU affiliated staff and students may deposit items in ORO on a case by case basis where this supports the mission of The Open University.
  2. Depositors grant ORO the right to preserve and distribute the deposited metadata and any full text content.
  3. Depositors grant ORO the right to make accessible copies of files deposited to ORO to users requiring accessible versions.
  4. Depositors are responsible for ensuring that deposited full text content does not contain "special category data" or content that infringes copyright.
  5. Depositors are responsible for the research validity and authenticity of the content of the submissions.
  6. The ORO Service will add research publications with an OU affiliated (co)author automatically from publisher and aggregator services.
  7. Before items are made available publicly, a member of library staff will:
    • verify the item is within the scope of ORO
    • check the metadata
    • check any full text deposited is used in accordance with the self-archiving policy defined by the publisher
  8. Once publicly available the ORO Service will amend publication metadata, full text files and access to full text files in accordance with changes to the publication record.

Removal Policy (Full-text)

  1. If ORO receives proof of violation of a publisher's self-archiving policy, the relevant item will be removed immediately.
  2. If ORO staff receive proof of copyright violation, the relevant item will be removed immediately.
  3. All other takedown requests will be reviewed by ORO staff and acted upon appropriately. Such requests may include proven plagiarism, falsified research, issues of personal safety or national security.
  4. All takedown requests should be sent with proof of violation to

Removal Policy (Metadata Records)

Metadata records will only be removed if a valid reason can be supplied to Records may be removed:

  1. For protection of personal or special category data
  2. Where publication has been delayed or abandoned
  3. Where a duplicate record exists in ORO. In this instance the record containing fullest metadata and/or a full text will be maintained, identifiers and URLs of withdrawn items will not be retained.

Metadata Policy

  1. Anyone may access and re-use ORO metadata free of charge.

Use Policy

  1. Normally Author Accepted Manuscripts deposited on ORO will be assigned a CC-BY-NC-ND license. Alternative licences will be applied in accordance with publisher and funder requirements.
  2. Unless allowed by the CC license, full text items must not be sold commercially in any format or medium without formal permission of the copyright holders

Preservation Policy

  1. Files deposited on ORO are included in the regular back-up process performed by Central IT services
  2. ORO will attempt to ensure continued readability and accessibility. Where necessary and practical, items in obsolete file formats will be migrated to newer formats. The original files will be retained.
  3. ORO Preservation Strategies are aligned to University Digital Preservation Strategies
  4. Items will be retained indefinitely.

Disclaimer and liability

  1. The Open University does not endorse the appearance or use of ORO metadata on any commercial medium or sites. Any such appearance does not imply an association with or endorsement of the operators of that site.
  2. A link that appears on ORO to any other site does not constitute an endorsement by The Open University or imply an association with the operators of that linked site.
  3. The Open University is not responsible for nor does it accept liability in respect of the contents of a linked site or any link contained on a linked site or for any amendments or updates to such linked sites.

These Policies will be reviewed annually, or as required to address changes in institutional research strategies or emerging issues.

Policies last revised 2023-05-17

Contact us

Library Research Support team