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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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This consultation is now closed.

Executive summary


1. This document sets out proposals for the implementation of an open access requirement in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Key points

2. Following an informal consultation on open access in the post-2014 REF, in which the four UK higher education funding bodies sought advice on an initial view, we have developed full proposals for the implementation of an open access requirement in the post-2014 REF. These proposals have been informed by the advice we received through the informal consultation process.

3. This consultation seeks comments on the proposed criteria for open access in the post-2014 REF, the definition of the research outputs to which the criteria will apply, and the proposed approaches to allowing exceptions from the open access requirement.

4. We invite responses from higher education institutions and other groups, organisations and individuals with an interest in scholarly publishing and research.

Action required

5. Responses to this consultation should be made online by 1700 on 30 October 2013,using the electronic response form which can be accessed alongside this document (see paragraph 14).

Date: 24 July 2013

Ref: HEFCE 2013/16

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions, Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
Heads of HEFCW-funded higher education institutions, Heads of SFC-funded institutions

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Research management and administration, Library and information management

Enquiries should be directed to:

Research policy team, e-mail, tel 0117 931 7470