Policy Guide
Open access research

Policy documents

The policy documents may be found at the following link:

Communications resources

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.

Download the slide pack

Download the Open Access slide pack as MS Powerpoint Presentation (280 KB)

Download the poster

Download the Repository REF poster as PDF (1,094 KB)

Download the poster in black and white

Download the Repository REF poster black and white as PDF (1,093 KB)

Technical resources

Documents relating to the advice letter


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 post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. 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.

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