On the 28th March 2014 the Higher Education Funding Council published its ‘Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework’.

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Key points of the Policy

  • All journal articles accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 must be open access
  • All conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) accepted after 1 April 2016 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)
  • Final peer-reviewed manuscript can be replaced by final published version where permissible (e.g., upon payment of Article Processing Charge for Gold Open Access)
  • Publishers’ embargo periods can be respected, and items still under embargo at point of REF submission will still be eligible
  • Embargo periods are set at:
    • 12 months for Main Panels A & B
    • 24 months for Main Panels C & D
  • Exceptions are allowed on deposit, access and technical grounds:
    • Deposit
      • Repository not available at time of acceptance for publication
      • Delay in securing final peer-reviewed text (e.g., multiple authors)
      • Researcher not employed at UK HEI at time of submission for publication
      • Unlawful, or a security risk, to deposit the output
    • Access
      • Third-party copyright means Open Access rights cannot be granted
      • Publication’s embargo period exceeds the maximum, but was the most appropriate publication
      • Publication does not allow Open Access deposit, but was the most appropriate publication
    • Technical
      • Researcher was at a different UK HEI at point of acceptance which failed to comply with criteria
      • Short-term or transient technical failure
      • External service provider failure
    • Other
      • Other non-standard exceptions are allowed, but a written explanation is required on a case-by-case basis
      • Researchers moving between HEIs may bring their deposited outputs with them, where this is permissible and / or practicable.

You can download the full document at the following link


Open Access in the post 2014 REF FAQs

Open Access in the post 2014 REF FAQ's

For advocacy within your school we have also created a Open Access and REF 2020 Powerpoint presentation that covers these key issues. For further information and assistance please email the Discovery team

Follow this link for instructions on How to submit your author accepted manuscript to Discovery or alternatively use the demonstration video Open Access and REF 2020.