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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.

Policy documents

The policy documents may be found at the following links:

Communications resources

To assist with communication of the policy within institutions, we have put together a printable poster. Please feel free to reuse this.

Download the poster

Download the Repository_REF_poster as PDF (924 KB)

Download the poster in black and white

Download the Repository_REF_poster_black_and_white as PDF (2,879 KB)

Technical resources

Information and audit requirements

Download the Open_access_in_the_next_REF_information_and_audit_requirements as PDF (188 KB)

Page last updated 31 March 2017

For further information