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Research Excellence Framework (REF) Open Access policy


  • The Author-Accepted Manuscript of all articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in an open access institutional (i.e. Open Research Online) or subject repository within 3 months of publication.
  • The policy covers papers accepted for publication on or after 1 April 2016.
  • The maximum permitted embargo is 12 months (for Panels A and B) or 24 months (Panels C and D).
  • Articles published as Gold open articles are exempt from the policy requirement.

This podcast explains the HEFCE Open Access Policy

HEFCE Open Access Policy transcript

Hi, I’m Chris and in this podcast, brought to you by Library Services, I’m going to talk about the HEFCE Open Access policy.

If you want to be submitted to the REF you need to comply with HEFCE’s Open Access policy which covers all journal articles and Conference proceedings published with an ISSN.

For these publications the Author’s accepted manuscript needs to be deposited in an Institutional repository like ORO or a subject repository like arXiv within 3 months of the date of acceptance with the publisher.

The author’s accepted manuscript is the version after peer review but before copy editing and type setting by the publisher.

HEFCE expect any embargo periods to be within 12 months for Panels A and B or 24 months for Panels C and D. Embargo periods can be checked on the Sherpa Romeo database.

The policy starts from April 1st 2016. HEFCE have provision for some exceptions. All publications published via Gold Open Access do not have to be deposited in a repository, although it is recommended. Other exceptions depend on the journal being shown to be the most appropriate publication for the output. If you intend to use an exception, check the policy.

HEFCE have recently relaxed the policy up until April 2017. The authors accepted manuscript can be deposited 3 months after the Date of publication not the Date of acceptance.

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