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Open Access

Open Access and the REF

Research England recognise that Open Access can make research more impactful and efficient, and can benefit many people. They have therefore introduced an Open Access policy for REF2021. The policy states that to be eligible for submission to REF 2021, authors' outputs must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository within three months of acceptance for publication. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection. However, the policy allows repositories to respect embargo periods set by publishers.

Which outputs does the policy apply to?

The policy applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN that have been accepted for publication after 1st April 2016.  It does not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data.

How do I comply?

To comply with the policy, you must deposit the author accepted manuscript of your journal articles and conference proceedings to the Library via within three months of acceptance. 


What happens if I can’t do that?

Don’t panic, there are various exceptions that can be applied to your work so it may still be eligible for REF.  This will be done by Cranfield’s REF Manager. Guidance on REF2021