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Support for research staff and students

This guide has been created to help research staff and students find information relating to research resources, publishing, open access and research impact.

Checklist for new research staff at the University of Reading

Our checklist for all academic and research staff introduces you to the key things to do as soon as you can after starting your new post. This will ensure that your publications record and digital identity are up-to-date in all of our systems and that you will be able to comply with the Open Access and research data requirements of the University, our funders and the next Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) exercise.

We look forward to working with you.

1. Contact the Liaison Librarian for your School or Department

Your liaison librarian is your main point of contact with the library and it is worth meeting them to find out what services and help are available to researchers. They can also refer you to other research support staff if necessary. 

2. Familiarise yourself with the University's policy for depositing outputs in CentAUR

Staff are required to add their publications to CentAUR in order to comply with the University's Open Access policy and REF and funder Open Access policies. This is specified in the University's Policy on depositing research outputs into CentAUR.

3. Add your publications to CentAUR

CentAURA laptop and diary is the University's institutional repository, showcasing our research publications. It is a green Open Access route to making our research available worldwide and content can be accessed and downloaded by anyone.

It is also used for internal and external processes and reporting, including ROSS, REF and the research councils.

Staff are required to add their publications to CentAUR in order to comply with the University's Open Access policy and REF and funder Open Access policies. This is specified in the University's Policy on depositing research outputs into CentAUR.

It is important that you add your new publications and your back catalogue since 2021 as soon as possible after arriving at the University.

To deposit publications in CentAUR, login with your University of Reading username and password, and go to Manage Publications. For guidance, download the Deposit guide

Once deposited in CentAUR, your entries are checked by the CentAUR team before being made publicly visible. This takes up to 2 weeks for publications dated 2021 or later. Older publications are a lower priority and may wait longer.

What to add to CentAUR
Output type to add Do I need to add a metadata record (ie a citation)? Do I need to add a full text, and which version? When do I add them?
Journal articles yes yes - the author's final accepted manuscript* e.g. in Word as soon as accepted for publication Essential for REF compliance
Conference proceedings yes yes - the author's final accepted manuscript* e.g. in Word

as soon as accepted for publication Essential for REF compliance

Book chapters yes not a requirement, but strongly advised - the author's final accepted manuscript* e.g. in Word as soon as a publication date is confirmed
Books yes no - but you may choose to add a sample chapter which should be the author's final accepted manuscript* e.g. in Word as soon as a publication date is confirmed
Reports yes not a requirement, but strongly advised - the author's final accepted manuscript* e.g. in Word on publication
Patents (published) yes no on publication
Arts outputs (e.g. exhibitions) yes no after it has reached the public domain i.e. through performance, exhibition or publication

* The author's final accepted manuscript is the author's final draft. Usually this is a Word document, or a document composed in a publisher's template at the accepted stage. It includes all peer review corrections but has not yet been copyedited or typeset by the publisher. Most publishers do permit this version to be uploaded to a repository. Most publishers do not permit the publisher's PDF to be archived in a repository unless it has been published as gold Open Access. CentAUR staff check the publisher's policy for each uploaded full text and set access or embargoes as permitted by the publisher. If they cannot find this information they will contact you.

You are required to add outputs published, or accepted for publication since 2014. However, please be selective. Add only those publications which satisfy one or more of the following:

  • eligible for submission for REF;
  • highly regarded even if not REF eligible;
  • important for your discipline, or for generating or supporting impact;
  • you will include in the ROSS process for peer review;
  • are important for you for other reasons not included in the above list.

Contact before you begin and include a link to your publications on your previous university's institutional repository or your CV. The CentAUR team will advise on the most efficient way for you to add your back catalogue and for which outputs you will need to include a full text.

Once deposited in CentAUR, they will be checked by the CentAUR team before being made publicly visible. This takes up to 2 weeks for publications dated 2021 or later.

Back catalogue outputs dated 2020 and earlier are not required. If you choose to add these, please be very selective. Add only those publications which satisfy at least one of the following:

  • highly regarded;
  • important for your discipline, or for generating or supporting impact;
  • are important for you for other reasons not included in the above list.

Contact before you begin and include a link to your publications on your previous university's institutional repository or your CV. The CentAUR team will advise on the most efficient way for you to add your back catalogue. You will not be asked for full texts.

Once deposited in CentAUR, they will be checked by the CentAUR team before being made publicly visible. This may take several months..

Metadata record for a journal article on CentAUR. This page is publicly accessible, but the full text cannot be downloaded by anyone until the expiry date of the embargo has passed.The metadata record (author, title, date and the abstract) is visible to anyone worldwide as soon as your item is live on CentAUR. This applies to all publications on CentAUR, including University of Reading theses. If you are the depositor (i.e you have added the item to CentAUR yourself) you will receive a receipt email when this happens. This refers only to the metadata record. Any attached full text will remain locked until publisher permissions (or thesis deposit form permissions) have been set and embargoes have expired. 

The full text will be downloadable by anyone worldwide as soon as this is permitted by the publisher (or for theses as soon as indicated by the thesis deposit form). Until that point the full text, but not the metadata record, will remain locked (embargoed) and accessible only to CentAUR staff. 

  • Publisher policies vary. Some publishers allow immediate access for anyone as soon as accepted for publication and others allow access for anyone at a point after publication. A few do not permit access at all. You can find journal publisher policies using SHERPA RoMEO. You can also find your publisher's policy about deposit in institutional repositories (such as CentAUR) in the agreement that you signed with them or on their web pages.
  • When you upload a full text to CentAUR, the "Visible to" setting and the embargo dates that you choose on the Upload page will be reviewed by CentAUR staff and re-set where necessary to be consistent with publisher permissions. This means that the full text will be made available to anyone at the point that this is permitted by the publisher. If you have a special reason for any restriction, especially one that is not covered by your publisher's standard agreement, please explain this on the Comments page of the new item that you are depositing or email

​CentAUR is part of a world-wide Open Access landscape. CentAUR is indexed by Google Scholar and harvested by CORE and EThOS. Your publications on CentAUR will be visible there too. They can also be found by anyone using harvesting tools such as Unpaywall and the Open Access Button. You will be able to see the downloads from CentAUR on the summary page of your publication on CentAUR. Collectively these add up to millions of downloads from CentAUR and your work will be part of a worldwide movement to make research more accessible to researchers who want to read, use and cite it and to the people who may have funded your research through their taxes. 

As a general rule, you should use the version of a publication in CentAUR only as a preview. You should cite the published version wherever possible. The final published version can be accessed by following the DOI or URL links in the CentAUR record.

You will need to cite the CentAUR version (rather than the published version) only if:

  • the item has been published, but you are unable to access the published version. This could be because the item is behind a journal’s subscription control (paywall) and your library does not have a current subscription
  • the item has not yet been published but the in-press version is in CentAUR
  • CentAUR is the primary location for the item and it is not published elsewhere, for example University of Reading PhD theses

For examples of in-text citations and bibliography listings for items in CentAUR see our Citing from CentAUR guide.

Always follow the usual referencing style for your discipline or intended publication. For further guidance see our Citing References LibGuide.

Alison Sutton, Research Publications and Institutional Repository Manager
Claire Collins
Natasha Feiner

Enquiries about CentAUR
Tel. internal: 6376
Tel: +44(0)118 378 6376


Enquiries about ROSS and REF outputs in CentAUR:
Tel. internal: 7870
Tel: +44(0)118 378 7870

4. Comply with Open Access policies

Open Access iconOpen Access is the free and unrestricted online access to publications: to read, download and re-use, subject to proper attribution. The main routes are:

  • Gold Open Access: Immediate OA on the publisher site, usually in exchange for an Article Processing Charge (APC). There are two models:
    • Subscription (hybrid)  journals that offer a Gold Open Access option for an individual article by payment of an APC
    • Gold Open Access journals which do not have subscriptions and in which all articles are open access, usually by payment of an APC.
  • Green Open Access: Depositing research in an institutional (e.g. CentAUR) or subject repository (e.g. arXiv). The version deposited is normally the author final manuscript and may be closed access on the repository for an embargo period after publication.

Open Access policies affecting you are:

  • The University's Open Access policy;
  • Policies of private, charity and government funders of research including the research councils and the REF. Most funders require publications resulting from their funding to be made as open and as available as possible;
  • Policies of the your chosen publishers, most of whom have Green or Gold Open Access options.

Quick tip: if you archive your author final manuscript of journal articles and conference proceedings in CentAUR as soon as it is accepted for publication, you will satisfy most Open Access policies, including University, REF, research councils and EC. 

The University's Open Access Policy states that:

The University is committed to publishing the results of its research in the highest quality publications, and strongly believes that these research outputs should be made as widely available as possible to academics, industry, the general public and other interested communities.

  • As soon as accepted for publication, staff and students are required to deposit the author-final version of all journal articles and conference proceedings in CentAUR. (Green Open Access.)
  • Staff and students are encouraged to publish their articles via the Gold Open Access route where funds to pay for Open Access publication charges are available.
  • Staff and students must comply with funders’ conditions about Open Access

The REF Open Access Policy requires that all journal articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in a repository within 3 months of acceptance to be eligible for submission to Research Excellence Framework.

To comply - you must act on acceptance!!:

  • deposit your the author final manuscript in CentAUR at the point of acceptance for publication (and certainly no later than 3 months after the acceptance date). This is the author's final accepted manuscript e.g. in Word, not a proof nor the final manuscript as it appears in press.
  • if you are unable to do this, please contact our CentAUR team urgently for advice.

Articles and conference proceedings published or accepted for publication before you began your contract at the University are likely to be compliant in your previous institution's repository or may be eligible for an exception to the policy. The CentAUR team will look at these on a case by case basis when you contact them about adding your back catalogue.

The UK research councils' policy on Open Access requires journal articles and conference proceedings resulting from research council grants are made Open Access via the Gold or Green routes. To comply:

  • Apply to the University's Open Access fund to publish it as Gold Open Access. The University will cover the cost of the article processing charge (APC) if the journal that you have chosen to publish in offers a CC-BY licence AND it meets the criteria for the University's Open Access fund.
  • AND deposit your article in CentAUR as soon as accepted for publication. This must be done for REF compliance anyway and in most cases it will also satisfy the research councils' Open Access policy (via the Green route) unless the journal embargo periods exceed 12 months (STEM) or 24 months (AHSS).

Check on SHERPA FACT before you submit to the publisher to find out whether your chosen journal offers a Gold and/or Green Open Access route which complies with the research council's Open Access policy.

Each beneficiary must ensure Open Access to all peer reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. This can be achieved via either Green or Gold Open Access. Full details are provided by the Commission in Guidelines on Open Access to scientific publications and research data in Horizon 2020 (PDF). To comply:

  • Archive a final version in CentAUR as soon as accepted for publication. The maximum embargo periods permitted are 6 months for STEM disciplines, and 12 months for Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • OR publish it as Gold Open Access on the publisher's website, and archive a copy in CentAUR. It should be available immediately on the publisher website, without embargo. Authors are encouraged to retain copyright and grant an adequate licence to publishers e.g. CC-BY. The minimum requirement is that the licence must allow people to read, download and print an article.

The Open Access requirements of funders are found in the terms and conditions of the grant. In addition, the SHERPA JULIET database provides a summary of and links to a number of funder policies.

You can find publishers' Open Access policies on their web pages and in the agreements that you sign with them.  The SHERPA ROMEO database provides a summary of, and access to, many journal Open Access policies.

It is worth checking what the publisher policies are before you commit to publishing with them so that wherever possible you are choosing a publisher that will allow you to comply with University, REF and your funder's OA policies.

5. Access funds for Open Access publishing

The University of Reading has two main funds to support the payment of open access fees or Article Processing Charges (APCs) for journal articles. There is an additional fund available for publishing research monographs as open access. 

A row of pink piggy banks

Journal articles

For both funds, the criteria for eligibility are almost same regardless of whether the author is in receipt of a grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI, formerly RCUK). Students and staff are able to apply for funding for open access publishing. 

​Full details of how to apply for open access funds are available on the University of Reading Library website (see link below).

Research Monographs

There is no set limit for each request, though cost is important as it will be a factor considered as part of the request. Please note that funds are limited, so an assessment will be made by a small panel and the results communicated to you as soon as possible. Priority will be given to monographs which will be published before and submitted as part of the next REF. If funds are exhausted in one financial year, you may have to decide to publish without University funding for Open Access or to apply again in the next financial year. For more details see the University of Reading Library website (see link below).

A full list of the current deals with publishers is available in the Open Access Libguide.


For questions on how to apply and eligibility for funding, please contact the Open Access team via email at

6. Learn about and act on policies for the management, preservation and sharing of research data

The University requires its staff and students to manage research data responsibly, and to preserve and disseminate data of long-term value in compliance with its Research Data Management Policy.

The Research Data Management Service can help you comply with funding body and regulatory requirements, and enable you to realise the full value of the data you collect and generate, so that you achieve the maximum reach and impact for your research.

7. Check and curate your digital researcher identity

Graphic of a name tagIf you’ve published a research output in a journal, conference proceedings, book or book chapter, you may have an online identity that you are not aware of and it might not be accurate. Making sure that you have a consistent digital identity is essential if all your outputs are to be correctly attributed to you. 

Three simple checks can help improve your online academic identity

  • Check your record in Scopus.
  • Register for and populate an ORCID iD
  • Create a Google Scholar Profile

If you need help with any of these activities, please contact the Research Publications Adviser. 

In the Scopus bibliographic database, outputs from the same author are aggregated in to a Scopus Author ID. As the information is collated automatically, you may find that the wrong articles have been attributed to you or that your articles have been split across several duplicate IDs.

Why do I need to check my profile?

If your details in Scopus are incorrect, your publication record will be incomplete and possibly confusing to those interested in reading or citing your research. It will also mean that the bibliometric information that you can access via your Scopus Author Profile will be inaccurate.

It is also worth checking out your Scopus Author ID to make sure that the articles attributed to you are correct because the bibliometric data used in the University of Reading’s Research Outputs Support System (ROSS) dashboards are taken from the Scopus database via SciVal. If your details are wrong, unreliable data will be pulled through into the University’s reporting process.

Signing up for an ORCID identifyer will ensure that your research outputs are not confused with those of other researchers with similar names. Registration is free and you only have to sign up once. 

An ORCID iD is now essential if you want to submit work to many publishers or apply for funding from large organisations such as UKRI or The Wellcome Trust.

It is now possible to link your ORCID iD to CentAUR. See the ORCID Libguide for full instructions. 

An ORCID iD is now essential if you want to submit work to many publishers or apply for funding from large organisations such as RCUK or The Wellcome Trust.

You can also link your ORCID iD to other services (see some examples below). 

A Google Scholar profile is a very simple way of collating your publications (and citations to them) so that others can find your work and often find an accessible copy that they can read. Once you have set up the profile, you can choose automatic updates so you don't need to spend a lot of time updating your publications list. If you create a Google Scholar profile, your profile will appear high up the page rankings if people are searching for your work. 

If you are working in an area that is not well covered by the Scopus or Clarivate blibliometric tools, you can use the free Publish or Perish software to analyse your citations using the data from your Google Scholar profile. 

Be aware that this free service is provided by Google and may not be continued indefinitely. 

8. Access resources to track the impact of your research

Once your output has been published, you will want to keep an eye on who is talking about your research and who might be citing it. 
There are some free tools that can help you monitor the impact of your research such as Google Scholar and Dimensions. University of Reading also subscribes to some specialist databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, Altmetric and SciVal that can also offer insights into who is mentioning, reading and citing your research. Databases such as Scopus and Journal Citation Reports can also be used to help in the journal selection process. 
If you need help in any aspect of tracking citations or media mentions of your research, please contact Karen Rowlett, Research Publications Adviser. 

Scopus is a large bibliographic database that indexes content from over 5,000 publishers. If your output is in a journal, conference proceedings or book covered by Scopus, you can track citations to your work easily. You can also set up alerts to let you know when your work has been cited. An online tutorial is available from Elsevier to help you get started with using Scopus to track citations. You can also contact the Research Publications Adviser or your liaison librarian for help. 

To Access Scopus on campus, you do not need a password and do not need to create an account unless you want to set up saved searches or alerts To access Scopus off campus you will need to use your University username and password via an institutional login. 

The Web of Science database is a large bibliographic database that can provide information on citations to your research outputs. 

It is possible to set up a Researcher Identifier within Web of Science to claim your publications. You can then associate your Researcher Identifier with your ORCID record. 

The Dimensions citation database was launched in January 2018 by Digital Science. Dimensions includes a citation database, research analytics and a means of searching for scholarly content. The coverage in Dimensions is not curated in the same way as the Scopus and Web of Science databases. The database also includes clinical trials data, funding information and patent data. 

The Dimensions database also incorporates the Altmetric score for publications and, in some cases, a link to the full text of the article via ReadCube. 

A guide to the Dimensions Data Approach is available via Figshare. 

Altmetric Explorer is a tool that tracks a range of sources to capture and collate social media, news and other attention around an research output. You can use Altmetric Explorer to find out who is talking and tweeting about your research and whether it has been cited by policy documents. 

Google Scholar Citations is a free and simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. It is particularly useful for authors working in research areas that do not have good coverage in commercial bibliographic databases such as Scopus and Web of Science. If you set up a Google Scholar profile, you can check who is citing your publications, view citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. If you make your Google Scholar profile public it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name, making your research more visible. 

Profiles are automatically updated as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can choose to have your list of articles updated automatically or review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time.

SciVal is a subscription-based research intelligence tool that uses data from the Scopus database. SciVal is available to all staff and students at University of Reading. Training and support for SciVal is offered by the Research Publications Adviser. 

The Journal Citation Reports database can be used to compare and evaluate different journals using a range of bibliometric indicators. In addition to the Journal Impact factor and 5-year Journal Impact Factor, it is possible to find Eigenfactor values, the Immediacy Index and Article Influence Score.

Please bear in mind that journal rankings such as the Impact Factor should not be used to rank individual researchers in line with the University of Reading's Statement on the Responsible Use of Metrics. 

9. Read the University's Responsible Metrics statement

Bibliometric indicators are widely used in research assessment exercises, recruitment and promotion. It is important that metrics are used responsibly and appropriately, particularly when an individual's research outputs are being examined.

Training and help on using bibliometrics indicators in a responsible manner is available from the Research Publications Adviser. 

The University of Reading has formulated a Responsible Metrics Statement that embraces the principles set forward in the Leiden Manifesto. 

Further resources

Individual researchers may want to sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) that covers the use of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) in the assessment of individual's research outputs. 

10. Book on to a People Development course for researchers

Library and Research Services staff offer a variety of workshops, presentations and surgeries via People Development. These include Open Access, CentAUR, research data management, digital identity, EndNote and tracking publications.

Use UoRLearn to find out about and book a place on available courses: