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ResearchWorks Access Restriction Policy

By default, items in ResearchWorks Institutional Repository have no access restrictions, that is, they are openly and freely available via the World Wide Web. Open access to deposited items encourages the distribution, dissemination, promotion, and use of research and scholarship produced at UW. The University Libraries strongly encourages depositors not to place access restrictions on deposited items.

However, there may be some situations when depositors need to restrict access to items in ResearchWorks. For example, a publisher may allow deposit of published articles into an institutional repository (such as ResearchWorks), but require an embargo of six months before the article may be made publicly accessible. Such a postprint might be deposited into ResearchWorks, but no access would be allowed for a period of six months. The maximum embargo period should normally not exceed 5 years. It is preferable to deposit the non-publisher version of a document if there are no access restrictions on that version of the document.

ResearchWorks allows access restrictions to be imposed at the collection or item level. The individual depositor or the ResearchWorks community (the group responsible for a set of collections in ResearchWorks) is responsible for the decision to impose access restrictions.

Access restrictions on an item may be set to one of the following levels:

  • Level 1: Restricted to University of Washington faculty, staff and students with a UWNetID and password only;
  • Level 2: Restricted to a specific group defined and maintained within ResearchWorks; or
  • Level 3: Embargoed, i.e. closed access (i.e. accessible to no one via the web) for a specific period of time.

Access restrictions on a collection may be set to one of the following levels:

  • Level 1: Restricted to University of Washington community members with a UWNetID and password only; or
  • Level 2: Restricted to a specific group defined and maintained within ResearchWorks.

However, individual items within a collection may be assigned a different access restriction level, including Level 3, regardless of the level of restriction assigned to the whole collection.

If an individual depositor or ResearchWorks Community decides to limit access to items, or an entire collection, to a specific group (Level 2), the individual depositor or the ResearchWorks Community must take responsibility for the continued maintenance of this access restriction level – particularly the group membership – for the items or collection. ResearchWork sstaff takes responsibility for the continued maintenance of Level 1 and Level 3 access restrictions.

Access restrictions may be set to never expire or may be set to expire after a specified period of time. If access restrictions are necessary, the Libraries urge depositors to only put in place the minimum level of restriction necessary. See deposit agreement.

If a depositor wishes to set access restrictions on an item, they may do so during the deposit process. If a depositor wishes to restrict access to a specific group (Level 2), the ResearchWork sstaff must be notified  at rworks@uw.edu before deposit of the item and will work with the depositor on the initial set-up of that group. Restricting access to the University of Washington community (Level 1) will require no further action on the part of the depositor. Establishing an embargo period (Level 3) should be discussed with ResearchWorks staff.

A ResearchWorks Community who wishes to restrict access to all material in a specifc collection must contact ResearchWorks staff who will assist them in establishing these restrictions. Any exceptions to the open access default, should be discussed with the ResearchWorks staff to determine the appropriateness of depositing the item(s) with these restrictions. Electronic theses and dissertations may follow different access rules depending on the source and contents of the item.

If a depositor or a ResearchWorks Community wishes to restrict access, change the level or time period of restrictions, or lift restrictions to an item after it has been deposited, they must contact the ResearchWorks staff at rworks@uw.edu in order to make these changes. At this point, it is not possible for a depositor or a ResearchWorks Community to make changes to access restrictions on an item(s) after it has been deposited. See [ResearchWorks Withdrawal Policy].

If a collection has access restrictions this will be indicated to users of ResearchWorks in the metadata as well as by the words “No Public Access” next to the collection link. If an item is embargoed (Level 3), the only reference until the embargo period ends will be a page, accessible only via the item’s persistent URL or handle, stating that the item has been embargoed and giving its release date. By default, metadata for all items deposited into ResearchWorks is open to the public.  Although individual items and communities can hide metadata from public view, it is preferable to leave metadata for all items deposited into ResearchWorks open and freely discoverable.