Depositing in BIROn

In a hurry to deposit?  Download the BIROn cheat-sheet or watch the demo video.



Who can deposit?

  • Any staff or students publishing research outputs at Birkbeck.

    What kind of work can I deposit?

    • Any research output you have published whilst affiliated with Birkbeck, including journal articles, working/discussion papers, book chapters, conference/workshop items and other forms of research output.

    When can I deposit?

    • HEFCE now requires journal articles and conference publications to be deposited immediately upon acceptance by a journal, in order to be eligible for the next REF exercise. All other published research outputs remain subject to the college’s OA mandate, which similarly requires deposit at point of acceptance.

    Which version of my work can I deposit?

    • Both the College and HEFCE's policy specify the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM). This is the last draft you worked on after peer review, but prior to the publishers' proofing stage. Depositing or linking to proofs or the version of record does not satisfy HEFCE's requirements. View a brief summary of full-text types here.

        How can I deposit my work?

        • All staff can now log in with their Birkbeck username and password. You no longer need to register for an account. Anyone logging in for the first time will have an account created. If you encounter issues with logging in, please contact Paul Rigg.

            Can I deposit work I published before joining Birkbeck?

            • You should deposit any work published before you joined Birkbeck, either manually or by importing records from your old institution’s repository. This enables us to comply with the new HEFCE Open Access policy.

                Do I have to deposit full-text?

                • Full-text deposit is mandatory, but access to the full-text can be restricted if necessary to comply with publisher embargoes. The file is automatically unlocked after the embargo expiration date.
                • Uploading complete monographs is not permitted; in these instances we either request publisher permission to use a sample chapter, or provide a citation-only record.

                Why aren’t deposits held in review until publication anymore?

                • From January 2017, new deposits will be pushed live ASAP, rather than awaiting "online first" publication on a publisher’s platform. This is to comply with HEFCE’s latest guidance about the interpretation of their Open Access policy. The change will not affect embargoes on full-text files. There will still be a review process, but metadata (including abstracts) will be available much earlier than previously, and will often pre-empt the journal. If this could cause problems with your publisher, please let us know by making a note in the "Comments and Suggestions" field of the relevant BIROn record.

                    What does "Request a Copy" mean?

                    • This feature appears only when BIROn holds a locked full-text file. It enables users to request a copy of the item from you via email, under the terms of fair dealing.  This is at your discretion and your contact details are never revealed.  The file must not be distributed further by the recipient.  If you leave Birkbeck, we can amend your contact email so you continue to receive requests in this way.

                    What format should my files be in?

                    • Authors' Accepted Manuscripts are usually (though not always) deposited in Microsoft Word format. We will convert these to PDF/A where feasible (and save the original Word file separately).  BIROn can also host multimedia; videos, pictures and sound files.

                          Can you deposit publications for me?

                          • Self-deposit is far more efficient, and is now required by HEFCE at point of acceptance for articles and conference publications. Mediated deposit is an option in limited circumstances. Publication details and full-text files should be sent to We check all copyright regardless of deposit method.

                            Does Open Access enable plagiarism?

                            • Conversely, Open Access makes the comparison of electronic sources, and thus the detection of plagiarism, easier, helping to protect intellectual property rights.

                              What happens if I leave Birkbeck?

                              • Your work will be maintained on BIROn as a record of the college's research output.

                                          Can I withdraw work from BIROn?

                                          • You can request that full-text be removed or restricted.  Equally, we reserve the right to remove work for any professional, administrative or legal reason. A metadata record indicating that the work was stored in the repository will remain visible.

                                                                        I signed over my copyright. Can I still deposit?

                                                                        • It depends on the publisher. Most allow self-archiving, even when the author has reassigned copyright.  You can check journal policies on SHERPA-ROMEO.  If in doubt, contact us, and we will ask publishers to clarify copyright conditions.

                                                                          What if the publisher refuses to allow self-archiving?

                                                                          • The publisher's decision is subject to the terms of your assignment of copyright to them.  To protect your right to deposit in BIROn (and share through other online environments), you may wish to suggest amendments to those terms in future negotiations.  Sample wording can be found at the Copyright Toolbox web site, but there is no guarantee your suggestions will be agreed to!  Deciding whether to proceed on this basis is a matter for individuals.

                                                                          What is third party copyright?

                                                                          • Third party copyright refers to portions of a work which belong to neither the author nor the publisher.  These can include text, diagrams, photographs and tables.  If you use such material without permission from its creator you may infringe their copyright.  "Fair use" applies where a  less than substantial portion of the work is used, but as the law does not define “substantial”, this is entirely dependent on the context, and on its significance in both your own and the original work.  You should not assume that if a third party object has been cleared for publication in a journal, that it will be cleared for use on BIROn.  If in doubt, please contact us.

                                                                            Is depositing equivalent to publishing?

                                                                            • No. Publishing in a journal or book should always be your priority. If you are in doubt about depositing a piece of work upon acceptance by a publisher, check with the publisher first, or ask us to check for you.

                                                                            How do I add full-text to publications already on BIROn?

                                                                            • For the time being, live records can only be edited by the BIROn team. To add full-text files (see "Which version of my work can I deposit?"), please email files and the relevant publication details to

                                                                              I'm funded by RCUK and/or The Wellcome Trust...

                                                                              • These funders now require authors to make their work available via either Gold or Green Open Access upon publication. To learn more about these changes, please visit Funders & Open Access.

                                                                              What is Gold OA and how can I make use of it?

                                                                              • Gold Open Access describes a system whereby publishers makes publications freely available via their platforms. It is usually funded by payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC), and grants reuse rights for institutional repositories like BIROn, though there are exceptions and limitations depending on the licence. RCUK and The Wellcome Trust both allocate block grants to the College for APCs, but the library now has a small supplemental fund for unfunded researchers. Find out more.


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