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Open Access

Open Access and the REF

Until new guidelines are issued for the next research assessment, researchers must follow the existing REF2021 Open Access Policy. 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 90 days 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 1 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 as soon as possible after 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 the Library’s Research Information Specialists. Guidance on REF2021