Research Excellence Framework: Open Access requirements

Guidance on Open Access requirements in relation to the Research Excellence Framework

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The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the method by which research is assessed in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).  In 2014 the first REF was carried out, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).  The last REF assessment was in 2021.  We are already working within the next REF assessment period and anticipate that Open Access will remain a requirement.

More information about our REF2021 submission

Accepted for Publication

LLC Research Services can make sure your work meets REF, institutional, and funders' Open Access requirements.  We provide a mediated deposit service to ensure that your outputs are appropriately uploaded to the institutional repository, the Discovery Research Portal.

  • Email
  • Send us your Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) and a copy of the email from your publisher confirming the date of acceptance.

Key requirements

We anticipate changes to these requirements that align more closely to PlanSUKRI and Wellcome Trust and will update our research community as these changes are announced.

We strongly encourage staff who are intending to publish to contact the LLC for advice to ensure that the publisher provides a route to publication and open access that meets the expectations of their funder and future REF assessment exercises.

  • All journal articles accepted for publication must be open access
  • All conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) must be open access
  • Authors' final peer-reviewed manuscripts must be deposited in an institutional or subject repository within 3 months of the date of acceptance for publication
  • Researchers must provide evidence of the date of acceptance for outputs and, if possible, a copy of their Copyright Transfer Agreement (or similar)
  • If an AAM has been deposited, it can be replaced by a final published version where permissible (e.g., upon payment of Article Processing Charge for Gold Open Access)

Publisher requires an embargo

Please contact us if your publisher indicates that they would wish you to apply an embargo as this may put you in conflict with funder and future REF requirements.