About us

Our commitment to you is that we will:

  • Have customer needs at the heart of our service
  • Provide a welcoming and accessible environment
  • Help you to become effective users of information through the provision of training courses and enquiry services
  • Train and support our staff to support the needs of our users
  • Gather feedback and use it to develop our provision and services
  • Deal with comments and complaints promptly
  • Continually evaluate our services

In exchange we ask you to:

  • Carry your uniCARD at all times; show it to staff if requested to do so; do not lend it to anybody else
  • Follow the library regulations
  • Treat library users and library staff with respect
  • Treat library property with respect
  • Return recalled items promptly to help other borrowers
  • Tell us when something is not working
  • Provide us with your suggestions, to help improve the service
  • Information Specialists will attend at least 90% of meetings they are invited to
  • You will receive a response from the Library to email enquiries within 1 working day
  • We aim to claim a live chat within 30 seconds
  • We aim to answer the telephone within 6 rings
  • All new students will be offered a library induction
  • All students will be offered information literacy training at appropriate stages of their course of study
  • Alternative formats and extended loans will be available for students who have declared a disability
  • Staff will be helpful and will treat library users fairly
  • Support for printers/copiers will be available on demand during staffed hours
  • Returned books will be shelved within 1 working day
  • All comments and complaints will receive at least an initial response within 1 working day
  • Staffed services will be available 09:00 – 18:00 Monday – Friday during term-time and 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Friday during the vacations, except on Wednesday mornings when staff training may take place 09:00-10:00
  • Printer/copiers will be available 99% of the time during staffed hours
  • Library systems, such as SmartSearch will be available 24 hours per day
  • A variety of study spaces will be made available and maintained appropriately
  • 95% of material on reading lists will be in stock or on order at any time
  • NSS score of 86%

The Library's Resources Management Policy is updated regularly. Please contact us if you have any queries about the information in the policy.

 
Reference Number  Version Letter  Executive Sponsor  Officer Responsible for Policy/Procedures  Consultation Process  Date of Approval and Committee and/or Executive Officer  Effective Date 
1   PVC (R and E)  Director Information Resources and Research Services, Library Services  Research Committee  Research Committee and Executive Team  December 2015 
2   PVC (R and E)  Director Information Resources and Research Services, Library Services  Research Committee  Research Committee 30 October 2019  December 2019 


1.    INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE POLICY

Aston University fully supports the practice of Open Research, with Open Access being a crucial part of this. There are two methods of Open Access (OA), the Green or Gold route. The Green route is our default way of ensuring compliance with OA requirements and makes the full text freely available on Aston’s research repository (Aston Publications Explorer) at the end of a publisher embargo period (typically between 6 and 24 months). Gold Open Access requires payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC) and makes the final published PDF open access immediately from the publisher’s website; Gold OA charges may be covered by a transformative agreement with a publisher or by a one off payment. Authors will be supported in making their publications OA by Library Services

1.1. Purpose of the Interim Policy

Plan S is driving global change in open access, with an implementation date of 1 January 2021.  UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is also in the process of reviewing its open access policy, with the new policy expected to launch in Spring 2020 and a longer term Policy will need to take account of this. In light of the Plan S guidance and the intention of UKRI to adopt some of these points we need to implement an interim open access policy at Aston University to ensure that our authors are adhering to current open access policies and practices.

1.2. What is covered by the Policy

The policy sets out which publications should be included in Aston’s open access repositories and how open access is to be achieved.  It is closely aligned with Research England’s REF 2021 Open Access Policy and takes account of the direction provided by Plan S.

1.3. Who is Covered by the Policy

The policy covers current Aston University staff members with research in their contract, until such point that their contract with Aston ends. Other Aston staff members who publish are also welcome to make their research outputs open access via the Green route.

Authors with funding from external bodies such as UKRI, European Commission, Wellcome Trust, etc. must also adhere to their funder’s open access policies.

2. WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ASTON’S OPEN ACCESS PUBLICATIONS REPOSITORIES

2.1. Research Publications

All journal articles and conference proceedings by Aston authors must be made Open Access. Where full text has been deposited, the publication is included in Aston Publications Explorer. All publications are included in Aston Research Explorer.

Although, monographs, book chapter, working papers and other output types are not explicitly covered by this Policy, authors, where possible, should make them Open Access.

Any digital material that relates to research outputs in any supported format including multimedia should also be included.

Where Research data needs to be made open it should be added to Aston Data Explorer in accordance with the Aston University Open Research Data Management Policy, and Library Services staff will create links between related datasets and publications where that link is apparent. 

2.3. What outputs are not included in Aston’s Open Access Policy

Publications where any of the following apply should not be made public, although they may need to be included in Pure for internal purposes. Authors should contact Library Services so to ensure that access is properly restricted:

  • If the material is to be commercialised, i.e. it relates to a patent
  • It contains confidential information
  • Its inclusion would infringe a legal commitment by the University and/or the author

Aston Publications Explorer and Pure focus on research, therefore, university administrative reports and learning and teaching materials are excluded.

3. HOW ARE OUTPUTS TO BE MADE OPEN ACCESS

3.1. Open Access for Standard Research Outputs

  • Papers in Pure Gold OA journals with a CC BY licence

Article processing charges (APCs) for these will be funded to a maximum value of £2100 (ex VAT) from the institutional budget for current Aston staff who are corresponding authors, subject to funding  availability and meeting set criteria.. These criteria include:

i. the article is an original research article or review,
ii. the journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals and
iii. the licence applied to the article is a CC BY.

  • Papers in hybrid journals in transformative agreements

Where Aston has agreements in place with publishers for a single payment covering journal subscriptions and APCs, Library Services will fund that payment and Gold OA will be available to Aston corresponding authors publishing in these titles.

  • Papers in hybrid titles without a transformative agreement

OA requirements for papers in these titles will be met by the Green route only.

3.2. Open Access for UKRI funded publications

Whilst UKRI continues to provide Aston with an APC fund, it will be open to Aston corresponding authors for all APCs offering a CC BY licence (Creative Commons ‘Attribution’) including for hybrid titles.

  • Papers in Pure Gold OA journals with a CC BY licence

Funding decisions will be made by Library Services after checking funding acknowledgements and research data statements.

  • Papers in hybrid journals in transformative agreements

Where Aston has agreements in place with publishers for a single payment covering our journal subscriptions and APCs, Library Services will fund that payment and Gold OA will be available to Aston corresponding authors publishing in these titles.

  • Papers in hybrid titles without a transformative agreement

Library Services will make the funding decisions. However, authors can also be compliant with the UKRI open access policy via the green route (see the policy document here).

4. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

In line with the REF Open Access Policy, authors are responsible for depositing the appropriate full text of their publications along with sufficient basic bibliographic metadata so that the publication can be identified within the timescales specified on Aston University Open Access webpages. Library Services will add any additional metadata, copyright statements, and any embargo periods prior to records validation.  The validity and authenticity of the content of submissions is the sole responsibility of the author.

Funded authors must properly acknowledge their funding and be familiar with their funder’s open access policy. Authors should follow the acknowledgement format from their funder, but if no guidance is available, authors must include the funder and grant reference number at a minimum. Authors should also include details on how readers are able to gain access to the underlying research data. Separate guidance available on archiving research data or via researchdata@aston.ac.uk. In all cases, the Library provides operational support to authors to ensure compliant open access publication. 

5. DEFINITONS

Open Research: Open Research is the practice of researching in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute throughout the research process. Open Research is not limited to STEM subjects; it encompasses all fields and stages of research with the goal of making the results Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR).
Open Access: Making research publications, principally journal articles, freely available online with all barriers to access removed.  Open Access is achieved through gold Open Access journals and journal articles, and green self-archiving in institutional repositories such as Aston Research Explorer.
Open Research Data: Making your research data freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world and downloadable without restrictions.
Author’s accepted manuscript: Final, peer-reviewed version of an article, before the publisher’s layout and typesetting is applied; also known as the author’s accepted manuscript or post-print version. 
Metadata: Information held as a description of stored data. Typically, the metadata of a publication record is its bibliographic details.

6. RELATED REGULATIONS, STATUTES AND POLICIES

UKRI Open Access Policy
REF 2021 Open Access Policy
Aston University Open Research Data Management Policy
Governance Policy for Aston Data Explorer
Aston University Open Access Publications Repositories Governance Policy
Aston University Cookies and Privacy Policy
Aston University Data Protection Policy
Aston University Intellectual Property Policy

 
Reference Number Version Letter  Executive Sponsor  Officer Responsible for Policy/Procedures  Consultation Process  Date of Approval and Committee and/or Executive Officer  Effective Date 
APEGP PVC Research Director of Information Resources and Research Services Research Committee    


1. INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE POLICY

Aston Publications Explorer is Aston’s Open Access publications repository and aims to create a permanent record of the research output of the University and to maximise the visibility, usage and impact of this research through global access. Input of publications will be through the Pure current research information system which will hold metadata for the publications and provide the route to populate Aston Publications Explorer with both metadata and full text.
The policy also applies to the publications available in Aston Research Explorer, which is the public-facing portal to Pure.

1.1 Purpose of the Policy

The governance issues in this policy support the operation of both Aston Publications Explorer and the publications in Aston Research Explorer.

1.2 What is covered by the Policy

The policy sets out which publications should be included in Aston’s Open Access repositories, their format, retention, copyright and takedown procedure and associated responsibilities.

1.3 Who is Covered by the Policy

The policy covers the responsibilities of those contributing to, operating and using publications in Aston’s Open Access publications repositories.

2. WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ASTON’S OPEN ACCESS PUBLICATIONS REPOSITORIES

2.1. Research Publications

Metadata and full text for all research publications including journal articles, conference papers, theses, and technical reports should normally be included. Where full text has been deposited, the publication is included in Aston Publications Explorer. All publications are included in Aston Research Explorer.
For books and book chapters metadata should be included plus the full text where copyright agreements permit.
Any digital material that relates to research output in any supported format including multimedia should also be included.
Research data should be added to Aston Data Explorer. For Open Access compliance purposes, and to ensure publications are discoverable and can be cited by others, we recommend that new publications are routinely added by authors – see Aston University Open Access Policy and Code or Practice.

2.2. Age of Publications

Any research output, no matter how old, may be included as long as it is in electronic format and this is consistent with any publisher copyright agreement.

2.3. Preferred format

PDF is the preferred file format, although other formats are also acceptable when file conversion to PDF is not possible.

2.4. Retention

In order to build up a permanent record of research, items will be retained indefinitely.

2.5. Publications from staff who leave Aston

The deposits of staff who leave Aston University will remain in the repository. Staff who leave are welcome to archive that work in their new institution’s repository

2.6. Publications from new members of staff

New staff are encouraged to archive work from posts in other institutions.

2.7. What should not be included in Aston’s Open Access Publications Repositories

Publications where any of the following apply should not be made public, although they may need to be included in Pure for internal purposes. Authors should contact Library Services so ensure that access is properly restricted:

  • If the material is to be commercialised, i.e. it relates to a patent
  • It contains confidential information
  • Its inclusion would infringe a legal commitment by the University and/or the author

Aston Publications Explorer and Pure focus on research, so University administrative reports and learning and teaching materials are excluded.

3. PRESERVATION

The repository will try to ensure continued readability and accessibility. Items will be migrated to new file formats where necessary. 
In the event of Aston Publications Explorer and / or Aston Research Explorer being discontinued, best efforts will be made to transfer the contents to another appropriate repository.

4. COPYRIGHT AND TAKEDOWN

4.1. Access and Re-use of the contents of Aston’s Open Access Publications repositories

  • Metadata will be accessible to anyone free of charge. The metadata may be re-used in any medium without prior permission and re-sold commercially provided the repository is mentioned.
  • Aston Publications Explorer AND Aston Research Explorer allow users to re-use full-text and other full-data items under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY NC ND) licence. This means that users must give appropriate credit to the authors and link to the licence. Users may not re-use the material for commercial purposes. Users cannot distribute material that has been remixed, transformed or built upon the original published output. 
    Where a full-text or other full-data item has a licence that is more restrictive or permissive than the CC BY NC ND default licence, this licence should be adhered to.

4.2. Copyright

  • The copyright for the peer-reviewed author’s accepted manuscript (AAM) is applied according to the Sherpa and/or publisher’s web pages. In some instances, authors may need to seek permission to deposit their AAM’s. This is the responsibility of the author and items will not be deposited unless permission has been granted. Initial checks regarding copyright restrictions can be made by researchers by using the SHERPA/RoMEO database[1].  The Open Access and Research Repository Specialist(s) will be responsible for resolving copyright issues connected with making the publication itself accessible, for validating the metadata and ensuring that an appropriate version of the publication has been deposited.
  • The University may choose to restrict access to works, whether in part or in full, if copyright permission is in doubt or unavailable.
  • If you believe an item has been deposited in violation of copyright, please refer to the Takedown Policy below.

4.3. Takedown Policy*

If the administrators of Aston Publications Explorer and Aston Research Explorer are notified of a potential breach of copyright, or receive a plausible complaint indicating a violation of any law (including but not limited to laws on copyright, patent, trademark, confidentially, data protection, obscenity, defamation or libel) the Resource or Contribution involved will be withdrawn from the repository as quickly as possible pending further investigation. A decision on whether the Resource or Contribution may be made available again may take some time if it is necessary to seek legal advice to resolve the complaint.

4.3.1. How to complain

If you have discovered material in Aston Publications Explorer and Aston Publications Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, please contact the Open Access and Research Repository Specialist in writing (and preferably also by email) providing the following information:

  • Your contact details.
  • Full details of the Resource or Contribution, including the author, title and resource address (URL).
  • The website address where you found the content
  • The nature of your complaint.
  • An assertion that your complaint is made in good faith and is accurate.
  • If you are complaining about breach of your own copyright, please state, under penalty of perjury, that you are the rights owner or are authorised to act for the rights owner.

Please send your complaint to:

FAO: Open Access and Research Repository Specialist (Re: Takedown)
Library Services,
Aston University,
Aston Triangle,
Birmingham,
B4 7ET.
or send an email with the message header ‘Takedown’ to openaccess@aston.ac.uk

4.3.2. 'Notice and Takedown' procedure

  • Aston will acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email or letter and will make an initial assessment of the validity and plausibility of the complaint, possibly taking legal advice.
  • The Resource or Contribution will be temporarily removed from Aston’s Open Access publications repositories pending an agreed solution.
  • The Open Access and Research Repository Specialist  will contact the contributor who deposited the material. The contributor will be notified that the material is subject to a complaint, under what allegations, and will be encouraged to assuage the complaints concerned.
  • The complainant and the contributor will be encouraged to resolve the issue swiftly and amicably and to the satisfaction of both parties, with the following possible outcomes:
    • The Resource or Contribution will be returned to Aston’s Open Access publications repositories unchanged.
    • The Resource or Contribution will be returned to Aston’s Open Access publications repositories with appropriate changes.
    • The Resource or Contribution will be removed from Aston’s Open Access publications repositories.
    • If the contributor and the complainant are unable to agree a solution, the Resource or Contribution will remain unavailable through Aston’s Open Access publications repositories until a time when a resolution has been reached.

*The Takedown section of this policy is based largely on the notice and takedown policy developed by Jorum. It is available on the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licences.

5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Authors are responsible for depositing sufficient basic bibliographic metadata so that the publication can be identified and full text of their publications within the timescales specified on the Open Access webpages.  More sophisticated metadata may be added by an Open Access and Research Repository Specialist. 

Open Access and Research Repository Specialists will load metadata (and occasionally full text) where is it available from external sources, eg publishers or databases such as Scopus, and will then request the full text from the authors. This is a supporting route to adding publications and does not remove the author’s responsibility to deposit their publications.

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

The Open Access and Research Repository Specialist(s) validate records before they are published to ensure that metadata quality and full text versions / access meet the repository’s criteria and are in line with journals’ permissions for deposit in institutional repositories (as publicised on the journals’ and/or Sherpa web sites).

6. Definitions

Author’s accepted manuscript: Final, peer-reviewed version of an article, before the publisher’s layout and typesetting is applied; also known as the author’s accepted manuscript or post-print version. 
Metadata: Information held as a description of stored data. Typically, the metadata of a publication record is its bibliographic details.

7. RELATED REGULATIONS, STATUTES AND POLICIES 

Aston University Open Access Policy and Code of Practice
Aston University Cookies and Privacy Policy
Aston University Data Protection Policy
Aston University Intellectual Property Policy
Governance Policy for Aston Data Explorer

 
Reference Number  Version Letter  Executive Sponsor  Officer Responsible for Policy/Procedures  Consultation Process  Date of Approval and Committee and/or Executive Officer  Effective Date 
Version 1.4   Paul Maropoulos Heather Whitehouse  Research Data Management Steering Group (sub group of Research Committee)  Research Committee  December 2016 
Version 2   PVC (R and E)  Director Information Resources and Research Services, Library Services  Research Integrity Committee  Research Committee 30 October 2019  December 2019 


1. 
INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE POLICY

The maintenance of accurate and retrievable data arising from research projects is an essential component of good practice in the conduct of research and a key component of research integrity. Opening up research data for scrutiny, to validate and replicate research or for re-use in further, possibly unrelated, research is a key component of Open Research. The principles of Open Research Data are set out in the Concordat on Open Research Data of which UKRI (HEFCE and RCUK at the time), UUK and Wellcome Trust are all signatories. The principle that research data, arising from publicly funded research should be treated as a public good, is reflected in the policies and conditions of major public research funders.
Open Research Data can only be delivered when the planning and management of research data takes account of that eventual outcome in earlier stages of the research lifecycle.

1.1. Purpose of the Policy

This policy covers Aston’s approach to Open Research Data, as an output of the research process.

1.1.  What is covered by the Policy

This policy covers the processes, arrangements and limitations for making research data open either for re-use or in support of research publications to enable the validation of that research.
Although essential to delivering Open Research Data, it does not cover the wider lifecycle of research data management.
For the purposes of this policy, Research Data are defined as factual records, which may take the form of numbers, symbols, text, images or sounds, used as primary sources for research, and that are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings.  Data may comprise primary raw data or secondary analysed data.
Application of this policy is essential where there is a funder requirement for Open Research Data and its application may be extended to research data from non-funded research where there are no legal, commercial sensitivity or ethical barriers.

Who is Covered by the Policy

This policy applies to all researchers and research students at Aston University with regards to the management of data arising from their research, and to the roles of the various individuals or services that will support the management of research data during its lifecycle.

2. POLICY STATEMENT

2.1. What Research Data should or should not be made Open

2.1.1. Research data arising from research where the funder has a requirement for Open Research Data should be made Open in line with that funder’s requirements and with this policy.
2.1.2. Where research data underpins a research publication, then sufficient data to enable validation or replication of that research should be made Open subject to legal, commercial sensitivity and ethical constraints.
2.1.3. Research datasets with the potential for reuse in future research should be made Open subject to any legal, commercial sensitivity or ethical constraints.
2.1.4. Research data should NOT be made Open if:

i. it relates to research which is likely to be commercialised (i.e. a patent),
ii. it contains confidential or personal data,
iii. doing so would be an infringement of a legal agreement (e.g. with a funder or collaborator),
iv or where there is a need to manage a security risk.

2.2.  Where and how should Research Data be made Open

2.2.1. Data in datasets should be fully anonymised before being made Open. Note that fully anonymised data must no longer have any means of linking it back to the individual and is no longer classified as personal data;
2.2.2. Datasets should be identifiable (ie the sets, not any personal data), retrievable, and available when needed;
2.2.3. Datasets should be assigned a persistent DOI which has been generated for that dataset;
2.2.4. Publications for which there is an underpinning dataset should have a Data Access Statement added prior to article submission. This should include the persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI) generated for the relevant dataset. Note that this is an essential requirement of some funders;
2.2.5. Data should be stored in a secure data repository suited to the data concerned; Aston Data Explorer is open to all datasets;
2.2.6. Any data which is retained outside Aston, for example in an international data service or domain repository, should be registered with the University by including the associated metadata and a link in Aston Data Explorer;
2.2.7. Sufficient metadata to describe the data and facilitate discovery should be provided in Aston Data Explorer (based on E-prints research data repository);
2.2.8. Links between publications records and related datasets records should be established.

2.3. Making Research Data Open with restrictions or an embargo

Where the type of data makes it necessary to limit or control access to a dataset a repository (such as Aston Data Explorer) should be selected which offers one of two options:

  • Embargoed, for when research data can be Open after an initial embargo period has expired.
  • Restricted, for data types which have ethical, commercial, copyright or IP issues where a decision has been made that the metadata for the dataset can be made public but access to the dataset only provided to users who make a request on the repository and provide sufficient justification.

2.4. Retention of Open Research Data

Datasets that have been made Open should be retained for a period which follows best practice in the discipline or in line with funder requirements.  If none exists, data will be retained by default for a period of 10 years after which a review will take place to determine whether the data should be retained for a further period.

3. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

3.1.  The University is responsible for:
3.1.1. Providing access to services and facilities for the storage, backup, deposit and retention of Open research data and records that allow researchers to meet their requirements under this policy and those of the funders;
3.1.2. Facilitating access to training, support and advice on Open research data;
3.1.3. Providing the necessary resources to those central services responsible for the provision of these services, facilities and training.

3.2. Research Group Heads or Associate Deans for Research are responsible for:
3.2.1. Ensuring that researchers in their area are aware of this policy and their responsibilities in relation to it;
3.2.2. Defining protocols or producing guidelines to assist researchers in their area to meet the requirements of this policy.

3.3. Principal Investigators are responsible for:
3.3.1. Ensuring, at the outset of a research project, a Data Management Plan is created which documents clear procedures for the collection, storage, use, re-use, access and retention or destruction of the research data;
3.3.2. Ensuring that throughout the project, storing, sharing and manipulation of data is in accordance with legal and ethical requirements and recommended practices to ensure data is kept secure, backed-up and organised effectively;
3.3.3. Documenting and agreeing, where appropriate, with their local review board or ethics committee or library services and in line with university’s policies where the data is to be stored so it is accessible after the completion of the research or in the event of their departure or retirement from the University;
3.3.4. Ensuring that any requirements in relation to research data and records management placed on their research by funding bodies or regulatory agencies or under the terms of a research contract with the University are also met;

4. SOURCES OF GUIDANCE
Advice on how to implement the requirements set out in this policy are available in the Research Data Management Libguide or by emailing researchdata@aston.ac.uk

5. DEFINITONS

R
esearch Data: are defined as factual records, which may take the form of numbers, symbols, text, images or sounds, used as primary sources for research, and that are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings.  Data may comprise primary raw data or secondary analysed data.
Open Research: Open Research is the practice of researching in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute throughout the research process. Open Research is not limited to STEM subjects; it encompasses all fields and stages of research with the goal of making the results Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). 
Open Research Data: Making your research data freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world and downloadable.
Metadata: Information held as a description of stored data.
DOI: Digital Object Identifier, a persistent identifier used to identify objects uniquely and standardised by the International Standards Organisation

6. RELATED REGULATIONS, STATUTES AND POLICIES
Concordat on Open Research Data
Intellectual Property (IP)
Research Integrity
Ethics
Research Integrity Assurance Procedures
Open Access Policy and Code of practice
Data Protection Policies and Procedures
Records Management Policies and Procedures
Aston Data Explorer Governance Policy

 
Reference Number Version Letter  Executive Sponsor  Officer Responsible for Policy/Procedures  Consultation Process Date of Approval and Committee and/or Executive Officer  Effective Date 
ADEGP PVC Research  Director of Information Resources and Research  Research Committee    


1. 
INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF THE POLICY

Aston Data Explorer is Aston’s research data repository, based upon the E-prints software, which aims to maximise the visibility, usage and impact of research at the university to a global audience. Input of datasets will be through the Aston Data Explorer web interface (Aston Data Explorer) which can be accessed by all researchers using their university login credentials, with both the metadata and data being stored. Long term archiving of the research data will be through Arkivum, where data will be pushed to from Aston Data Explorer. The repository is able to give dataset unique persistent identifiers (PID) in the form of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) using the latest Datacite Metadata Schema.

1.1 Purpose of the Policy

The governance issues in this policy support the operation of Aston Data Explorer.

1.2 What is covered by the Policy

The policy sets out which datasets should be included in Aston Data Explorer, their format, retention, copyright and takedown procedure and associated responsibilities.

1.3 Who is Covered by the Policy

The policy covers the responsibilities of those contributing to, operating and using datasets in Aston Publications Explorer. 

2. WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ASTON PUBLICATIONS EXPLORER

2.1. Research Data

Metadata and data files underlying research publications including journal articles, conference papers, theses, technical reports and/or any data of long term value should normally be included. Datasets must have been produced at Aston by an Aston author or must have been funded by an Aston grant. The quantity of data to be shared must be decided by the author. A minimum amount of metadata is required before validation can take place, following the latest Datacite Metadata Scheme. Data can be either digital or physical. Digital data is recommended to be shared in a non-proprietary format or a commonly used file format. There is no limit in upload size. Physical data needs to be described by rich metadata which detail how it can be accessed. For funder compliance purposes, and to ensure data are discoverable and can be cited by others, we recommend that new datasets are routinely added by authors.

2.2. Age of data
Any research data output, no matter how old may be included, as long as it does not infringe copyright. 

2.3. Preferred format
Non-proprietary formats are strongly recommended, although other formats are also acceptable if they are commonly used. On rare occasions, proprietary formats may be accepted if there are no alternative.

2.4. Retention
Data will be stored for a period of time which meets funder requirements. If no requirement exists, data will be stored for a period of 10 years following last access. Following this 10 year period, datasets will be retired and not appear on the live repository. On rare occasions, where the author of the dataset has justified their reasoning, datasets may appear on the repository for longer.

2.5. Datasets from staff who leave Aston
The deposits of staff who leave Aston University will remain in the repository. Staff who leave cannot archive their datasets in another repository the same dataset/s cannot have more than one persistent identifier. 

2.6. Datasets from new members of staff
Staff should only include datasets which they produce at Aston.

2.7. What should not be included in Aston Data Explorer
Data where any of the following apply should not be made publicly available in Aston Data Explorer. Authors should contact Library Services so ensure that access is properly restricted:

  • If the material is to be commercialised, i.e. it relates to a patent. It is however expected that once a patent has been granted, data should be shared with appropriate restrictions/embargos applied
  • Its inclusion would compromise confidentiality or individuals’ privacy
  • It contains security sensitive information which may pose a security risk
  • Its inclusion would infringe a legal commitment by the University and/or the author
  • Was produced at another institution and is not the property of Aston University

Aston Data Explorer focuses on research, so University administrative or learning and teaching datasets are excluded.

3. PRESERVATION

The repository will try to ensure continued readability and accessibility. Datasets will be migrated to new file formats where necessary. Long term preservation will be undertaken using Arkivum at their data centres around the UK under the ISO 27001 data security certification.

In the event of Aston Data Explorer being discontinued, best efforts will be made to transfer the contents to another appropriate repository.

4. COPYRIGHT AND TAKEDOWN

4.1. Access and Re-use of the contents of Aston Data Explorer

  • Metadata will be accessible to anyone free of charge. The metadata may be re-used in any medium without prior permission and re-sold commercially provided the repository is mentioned.
  • Datasets can be accessed free of charge can be reused according to the licence for the specific dataset.

4.2. Copyright

  • If no external contract exists, all primary research data generated at Aston University during the course of research by researchers working at the university falls under the ownership of Aston University.
  • The University may choose to restrict access to works, whether in part or in full, if copyright permission is in doubt or unavailable.
    If you believe an item has been deposited in violation of copyright, please refer to the Aston Publications Explorer Takedown Policy.

4.3.Takedown Policy*

If the administrators of Aston Data Explorer are notified of a potential breach of copyright, or receive a plausible complaint indicating a violation of any law (including but not limited to laws on copyright, patent, trademark, confidentially, data protection, obscenity, defamation or libel) the Resource or Contribution involved will be withdrawn from the repository as quickly as possible pending further investigation. A decision on whether the Resource or Contribution may be made available again may take some time if it is necessary for Aston Data Explorer to seek legal advice to resolve the complaint.

4.3.1.  How to complain

If you have discovered material in Aston Data Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, please contact the Aston Data Explorer Research Repository Specialist in writing (and preferably also by email) providing the following information:

  • Your contact details.
  • Full details of the Resource or Contribution, including the author, title and resource address (URL).
  • The website address where you found the content in Aston Data Explorer.
  • The nature of your complaint.
  • An assertion that your complaint is made in good faith and is accurate.
  • If you are complaining about breach of your own copyright, please state, under penalty of perjury, that you are the rights owner or are authorised to act for the rights owner.

Please send your complaint to:

FAO: Aston Data Explorer Research Repository Specialist (Re: Takedown)
Library Services,
Aston University,
Aston Triangle,
Birmingham,
B4 7ET.
or send an email with the message header ‘Takedown’ to the following address: researchdata@aston.ac.uk

4.3.2. 'Notice and Takedown' procedure

  • Aston will acknowledge receipt of your complaint by email or letter and will make an initial assessment of the validity and plausibility of the complaint, possibly taking legal advice.
  • The Resource or Contribution will be temporarily removed from Aston Data Explorer pending an agreed solution.
  • Aston Data Explorer will contact the contributor who deposited the material. The contributor will be notified that the material is subject to a complaint, under what allegations, and will be encouraged to assuage the complaints concerned.
  • The complainant and the contributor will be encouraged to resolve the issue swiftly and amicably and to the satisfaction of both parties, with the following possible outcomes:
    • The Resource or Contribution will be returned to Aston Data Explorer unchanged.
    • The Resource or Contribution will be returned to Aston Data Explorer with appropriate changes.
    • The Resource or Contribution will be removed from Aston Data Explorer.
  • If the contributor and the complainant are unable to agree a solution, the Resource or Contribution will remain unavailable through Aston Data Explorer until a time when a resolution has been reached.

*The Takedown section of this policy is based largely on the notice and takedown policy developed by Jorum. It is available on the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

5. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Authors are responsible for depositing sufficient metadata so that the dataset can be identified within the timescales as specified by funder or institutional policies.  More sophisticated metadata may be added by a Research Repository Specialist.

Research Repository Specialists will load metadata where is it available from external sources e.g. publishers or databases such as Figshare. This is a supporting route to adding datasets and does not remove the creator’s responsibility to deposit their dataset.

The validity and authenticity of the content of submissions is the sole responsibility of the depositor / creator of the dataset(s).

The Research Repository Specialist(s) validate records before they are published to ensure that metadata and data quality meet the repository’s criteria and are in line with funder and journal policies.

6. Definitions

This section should define any terms used in the policy that are important to compliance with it or that might be misunderstood by the audience.

7. RELATED REGULATIONS, STATUTES AND POLICIES

Aston University Research Data Management Policy
Aston University Cookies and Privacy Policy
Aston University Data Protection Policy
Aston University Intellectual Property Policy
Governance Policy for Aston Data Explorer

Library Services at Aston University is committed to making our services available to as many people as possible. We provide Aston Publications Explorer and Aston Data Explorer as our repositories for Open Access publications and Open research data respectively.

Aston University also provides Aston Research Explorer which provides a search and access route to Aston’s research including our publications.

How accessible Aston Publications Explorer and Aston Data Explorer are

These websites have only minimal accessibility features.

They contain complex academic publications so much of the language on these sites is specialist and technical in nature.

What to do if you cannot access part of these websites

Aston University also provides Aston Research Explorer which has much higher levels of accessibility and will allow you to search for Aston’s research publications so please try searching this.

If you need accessible versions of the PDFs of the publications or datasets you find in your search please make a request using the contact details below.

If you need further information on using these services or need to receive the information in a different format please contact:

openAccess@aston.ac.uk

0121 204 4525

Reporting accessibility problems with these websites

We are always seeking to improve our services so if you find any problems in using our websites which are not identified on this page or if you think we are not meeting accessibility requirements please contact the Library Services Open Access team:

openAccess@aston.ac.uk

0121 204 4525

Enforcement Procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Hearing loops are available at Library Reception and Help Point.
A live chat facility is offered as an alternative to phone calls.

Technical Information about these websites' accessibility

Aston University Library Services is committed to making these websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1AA standard. The non-accessible sections are listed below.

Non accessible content

The home page, the search and browse facilities, results screen have limited accessibility functionality.

PDFs of full text of publications in Aston Publications Explorer, particularly the older ones may not be accessible.

Research datasets in Aston Data Explorer will be in a variety of formats only some of which will be accessible. 

Disproporitionate burden

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

Users of both Aston Publications Explorer and Aston Data Explorer are mainly academics, not the general public, and the publications and data are specialised and technical academic content.

We will work to improve the search facility in Aston Publications Explorer and Aston Data Explorer and will make accessibility a factor in future selection of systems for these services. Note that Aston also offers an alternative search facility for Aston’s publications, Aston Research Explorer, with better accessibility features.

The search results in Aston Publications Explorer are PDFs of research papers. We will provide advice to future authors on how copies of their papers can be made as accessible as possible but to retrospectively change the existing PDFs would be unrealistic compared to the benefits for the specialist audience. Instead versions to meet the needs of individuals will be made available on request.  

The search results in Aston Data Explorer are datasets used in the research process which may be in excel or a specialist format so accessibility will be variable. If you require further information please ask for this using the contact details provided.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 20 September 2019 by Library Services using wave.webaim.org and testing the home page, results page and a selection of pdf documents found in search results.

What we are doing to impress accessibility

Aston University Library Services will make improvements to Aston Publications Explorer and to Aston Data Explorer as far as possible and work with the EPrints providers and users (the system which is used for these websites) to improve its accessibility functions.

We will also provide information to academic authors of research papers about how to maximise accessibility of the PDF documents which they provide for these repositories.

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last updated on 20 September 2019.