The University of Aberdeen Publication Scheme

Guide to Information published by the University of Aberdeen

Last reviewed 24 September 2018

1. Introduction

►The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) provides individuals with a right of access to all recorded information held by Scotland's public authorities. Anyone can use this right, and information can only be withheld where FOISA expressly permits it.

►Section 23 of FOISA also requires that all Scottish public authorities maintain a publication scheme. A publication scheme sets out the types of information that a public authority routinely makes available. This scheme has been approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing FOISA. We are also obliged to review this scheme on a regular basis.

►The purpose of the scheme is to provide you with details of the range of information that we routinely publish. The scheme also provides details of how you can access this information, and tells you whether it is available free, or if there is a charge for the information.

►Alongside FOISA, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EI(S)Rs) provide a separate right of access to the environmental information that we hold. This publication scheme also contains details of the environmental information that we routinely make available.

Where information is not published under this scheme, you can request it from us under FOISA or, in the case of environmental information, the EI(S)Rs.

  • For further information on accessing information not covered by this scheme, please refer to Section 7 – How to access information which is not available under this scheme

Aberdeen University has adopted the model publication scheme (MPS) produced and approved by the Scottish Information Commissioner, who is responsible for enforcing FOISA.

Our Guide to Information will be formerly reviewed and updated on an annual basis by the Information Strategy Committee (ISC). Membership includes the University Secretary and senior management and academic leads. Day to day management and quality assurance of the scheme will be administered by the Data Protection Officer and FOI team.

Further details about the model publication scheme may be found on the Commissioner’s own website – Model Publication Scheme  or by contacting us at the address below.

This Guide to Information was prepared by the Scottish Higher Education Information Practitioners Group (SHEIP), under the auspices of Universities Scotland's Secretaries’ Group.

►We have made a commitment to publish all information which we hold which falls within the classes of information in the scheme.

We are obliged by FOISA to have due regard to the public interest in providing access to the information that we hold which relates to:

  • The services we provide;
  • The costs of those services;
  • The standard of those services;
  • The facts that inform the important decisions we take; and
  • The reasoning that informs our decisions.

►This Guide to Information describes the information which we publish in accordance with the scheme and provides details of how to access the information and what it may cost.

►The guide also contains details of the environmental information that we routinely make available under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EI(S)Rs).

2. Accessing information under the scheme - Availability and Formats

Our Guide to Information provides more details of the information available under the scheme, along with additional guidance on how the information falling within each of the MPS “classes” may be accessed.

Most information listed in our Guide to Information is, wherever possible, available on our website.  In many cases a link within Section 10 - Classes of information will direct you to the relevant page or document. Where no such link is present, you can find this information using our website’s “Search” facility or browse our A-Z index

Alternative arrangements are available for people who do not wish to, or who cannot, access the information online, or by inspection at the University's premises. We can arrange to send out information in paper copy on request (although there may be a charge for this).

►By email:
If the information you seek is not published on our website, we can send it to you by email, wherever possible.

►By phone: 
Information provided through the scheme can also be requested from us over the telephone.  Please call +44 (0)1224 27 2596 or +44 (0)1224 273079

►By post:

Information under the scheme may also be made available in paper copy form.  Please address your request to:

Freedom of Information Officer

Library, Special Collections & Museums

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University of Aberdeen

Bedford Road


AB24 3AA

When writing to us to request information, please include your name and address, full details of the information or documents you would like to receive, and any fee applicable (see Section 4- Our charging policy for further information on fees). Please also include a telephone number so we can telephone you to clarify any details, if necessary.

►By inspection at our premises:
Some of the information that we publish in accordance with the scheme may be available for inspection on site. Please contact Freedom of Information Officer to discuss any necessary arrangements.

If you are still having trouble finding any document listed under our scheme, then please contact us for further assistance. Details of how to contact us may be found in Section 8 -Contact Us

3. Information that we may withhold

►Our aim in maintaining this Guide is to be as open as possible. All information covered by the publication scheme can either be accessed through our website, or will be provided promptly following our receipt of your request.

►If a document contains information that the University may legitimately wish to exempt from disclosure under an appropriate section of Scotland’s freedom of information laws, (for example sensitive personal information or a trade secret), we will remove or redact the information before publication but we will inform you that we have done so and provide an explanation of why the information is withheld.

►The Scottish Information Commissioner's guidance on information that may be exempt from publication is available here

►If you wish to complain about any information which has been withheld from you, please refer to Section 9– Complaints.

4. Our Charging Policy

►There is no charge for information viewed on our website, or at our premises, except where there is a statutory fee. Fees are published within this guide.

►Unless otherwise stated, information contained within our scheme is available from us free of charge where it may be downloaded from our website or where it can be sent to you electronically by email.

►We may charge the cost of sending the published information to you, for photocopying and postage, for instance. Charges will reflect the actual costs of reproduction and postage to the University, as set out below.


►Reproduction Charges:

Where charges are applied, photocopied information will be charged at a standard rate of 10p per A4 side of paper (black and white copy) and 30p per A4 side for colour copy paper.

For digital formats: CD Roms will be charged at £1.00 per disc. Memory sticks (USB sticks) will be charged at £5.00 per stick.

►Postage Charges:

We will pass on postage charges to the requester at the cost to the University of sending the information by first class post.

►Charges for University pre-printed publications:

For pre-printed publications, we may charge no more than the cost to us, per copy, to have the publication printed, plus postage.

►This charging policy does not include our commercial publications, which are offered for sale through retail outlets, bookshops, academic journal websites and our online store. Details of these publications including pricing are available in Class 8 of our publication scheme.

Charges for information available by request

►We may charge for unpublished information provided in response to your information request.

►There will be no charge to you if the cost to the University, to provide the information to you, is £100, or less

►If the cost to us is between £100 - £600 to provide the information to you, we may ask you to pay 10% of of the cost of providing it.

   For example, if it costs us £500 to provide the information, then we may change you up to £40. The first £100 is free of charge and we may charge for   10%  of the remaining £400 cost.

►In calculating any charge, staff time will be calculated at actual cost per staff member hourly salary rate to a maximum of £15 per person per hour.

►We do not charge for the time to determine whether we hold the requested information, or for the time it takes to decide whether the information can be released. Charges may be made for locating, retrieving and providing information to you.

►If the cost to the University exceeds £600, the University may ask you to pay for the additional cost, over this limit, in full.

►The University may refuse to deal with any request for non-environmental information which will cost more than £600 to provide.

Fee Notices

►If we do intend to make a charge, you will be advised of the charge and how it has been calculated, in the form of a Fee Notice, before we send the information.  The Fee Notice will also inform you on how to pay the fee to the University. We will also offer advice and guidance to assist with narrowing your request to reduce or avoid charges altogether.

►Once you receive a Fee Notice, you can decide whether to pay for the information, or take up our offer of advice and guidance.

►Please note that if we do not hear from you within 20 working days of issue of a Fee Notice, the University will assume that your request for information has been withdrawn.

Charges for your own personal data

►The University does not charge fee for processing requests for your own personal data, also know as a Subject Access Request, in terms of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Charges for re-use of the University of Aberdeen's public sector information

The University of Aberdeen complies with the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (PSI) and we encourage the re-use of the information produced, held and disseminated by the University Library, Special Collections and Museums. We may levy a charge for re-use of information that we produce, hold or disseminate. Charges are based on the direct costs of supplying the information, and a reasonable apportionment of indirect and overhead costs. Further details are available here.

5. Our Copyright and Re-Use Policy

►Where the University of Aberdeen holds the copyright in its published information, this information cannot be copied or reproduced without formal permission. Such permission will usually be granted provided it is consistent with fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and that;

  • It is copied or reproduced accurately
  • It is not used in a misleading context, and
  • The source of the material is identified and the copyright status acknowledged

►Where the University of Aberdeen does not hold the copyright in information we publish, we will make this clear.

►When the University does not hold the copyright in the published information, this will be made clear and wherever possible, details of the copyright holder will be provided in the scheme.

►In most cases the copyright holder will be obvious from the documents.  In cases where the copyright is unclear, however, it is the responsibility of the person accessing the information to locate and seek the permission of the copyright holder before reproducing the material or in any other way breaching the rights of the copyright holder.

►Information about Crown copyright material is available on the website of the Queen's Printer for Scotland at We can provide you with a copy of this information if you do not have internet access.

►The University of Aberdeen complies with the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (PSI Regulations). These regulate how information produced, held and disseminated by the University Library, Special Collections and Museums is made available for re-use.

►Information about our public task, our information assets and enquiries about permission for re-use is available here. Alternatively please email, or send your enquiry by post to Image Orders, Special Collections Centre, The Sir Duncan Rice Library, Bedford Road, Aberdeen AB24 3AA.

►We will respond to all applications within 20 working days.

6. Records Management and Archiving Policy
►Information is managed and archived, where applicable, in line with the University’s Records Management Policy and associated retention/disposal schedules.  Records with significant evidential or historical value will be transferred to the University Archives for permanent preservation. Further details on our policies and management framework are available at - University Records Management 
7. How to access information which is not available under this scheme

►The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) provides you with a right of access to the information we hold, subject to certain exemptions.

►The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EI(S)Rs) separately provides a right of access to the environmental information we hold.

►For requests for information that we hold that is not available under this scheme, our contact details are;

Freedom of Information Officer

Library, Special Collections & Museums
The Sir Duncan Rice Library
The University of Aberdeen
Bedford Road
AB24 3AA

Telephone:  +44 (0)1224 272596 or +44 (0)1224 273079

For requests for your own personal data

►The Data Protection Act (2018) gives data subjects a right to access to personal data held about them by the University, subject to certain exceptions or exemptions.

►All formal subject access requests must be responded to within the 40-day period prescribed by the Act, and must be notified to the Data Protection Officer as soon as they are received. Any cases of doubt as to whether a request for access to personal data is a subject access request under the Act must be referred to the Data Protection Officer without delay.

►The University does not charge for subject access requests (SARs) to personal data which is processed automatically or held in structured manual files.

►Requests for personal information relating to living identifiable individuals come under the Data Protection Act 2018 and requests for information should be directed to:

Data Protection Officer

Library, Special Collections & Museums

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University of Aberdeen

Bedford Road


AB24 3AA

Telephone: +44(0)1224 272596 or +44 (0)1224 273079

8. Contact Us

►You can contact us for assistance with any aspect of this guide or publication scheme. We welcome feedback on ways in which we can improve and develop our scheme further. Please tell us about;

  • Other information that you would like to see included in the scheme
  • Whether you found the scheme easy to use
  • Whether you found the scheme useful
  • Whether our staff were helpful
  • Other ways in which our publication scheme can be improved

 Please send your comments and suggestions to;

Freedom of Information Officer

Library, Special Collections & Museums

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University of Aberdeen

Bedford Road


AB24 3AA      

phone: +44 (0)1224 272596 or +44 (0)1224 273079

9. Complaints

►We aim to make access to information we publish as easy as possible. Should you have a complaint about the publication scheme or access to information we publish, we would seek to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible. Please write to or email the Freedom of Information Officer, at the address above, in the first instance.

►Should you be dissatisfied with our response to your information request you have the right under the Act, to request a review.  A request for review must be made within 40 working days of the date of  our response. It must include your name and address for correspondence and specify the request for information and the grounds for dissatisfaction with the decision. Please send your request for review to our mailbox, The University will respond to your request for a review within 20 working days of receipt of your request.

►If you are unhappy with the outcome of the University’s internal review process, you have the right to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner within 6 months from the date of receipt of the University’s review notice. Details on how to make an appeal to the Commissioner are  available here.  Should you remain dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s decision, you have a right of appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law.

10. Classes of Information

►We publish information that we hold within the following Classes of information.

►Once information is published under a class we will continue to make it available for the current and previous two financial years.

►Where information has been updated or superseded, only the current version will be available. If you would like to see previous versions, you may make a request to us for that information.

Class 1:   About the University

Class 2:   How we deliver our functions and services

Class 3:   How we take decisions and what we have decided

Class 4:   What we spend and how we spend it

Class 5:   How we manage our human, physical and information resources

Class 6:   How we procure goods and services from external providers

Class 7:   How we are performing

Class 8:   Our commercial publications

Class 9:   Our open data

►If you wish to receive a paper copy, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer. See Section 8 - Contact Us for details.