The four UK HE funding bodies believe that the outputs of research should be as widely accessible as possible. For this reason, we have introduced a new policy for open access in relation to research assessments after the 2014 REF.
The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.
The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number. It will not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data. The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement it now.
The policy documents may be found at the following links:
- Policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework (updated November 2016) (HEFCE 2016/35)
- Open access in the Research Excellence Framework: Extension of flexibility (HEFCE Circular letter 32/2016)
- Open access in the next Research Excellence Framework: policy adjustments and qualifications (HEFCE Circular letter 20/2015)
To assist with communication of the policy within institutions, we have put together a slide pack for presentations and a printable poster. Please feel free to reuse these.