REF Open Access Requirements

Policy Summary

The policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN accepted for publication after 1 April 2016. For submission to the REF, the author's accepted manuscript must be deposited in an appropriate repository within three months of acceptance. Publisher embargoes on public access to deposited manuscripts are permitted, providing these do not exceed 12 months for REF Panel A and B or 24 months for REF Panel C and D. Specific exceptions to these requirements are defined in the policy.

HEFCE policy for open access in REF (updated Nov 2016)

How to make your papers REF eligible

Newcastle University support the use of MyImpact and the ePrints repository to meet the REF open access requirements. The process is described briefly below and in more detail in our print and video guides.

On submission
  1. Check if your journal meets the policy requirements. If you identify any issues or are unsure how to interpret the results, please contact us.
  2. Add details of your publication to MyImpact with bibliographic status of In preparation so you can continue to edit the record. Publication details can be suppressed from your web profile until after acceptance.
  3. add publication to MyImpact
On acceptance
  1. Change the bibliographic status of the MyImpact record to In press
  2. Set record to In Press
  3. Add the Acceptance date
  4. Set acceptance date
  5. Upload your accepted manuscript. This is the version after peer review and containing all academically necessary changes, but before publisher copy-editing and typesetting. Publishing agreements typically do not allow authors to upload the publisher-formatted version to a repository.
  6. Upload full text of your accepted manuscript
Processing of uploaded manuscripts

The open access team will review uploaded manuscripts before they become publicly available. We will contact authors to discuss any issues with meeting the open access requirements for REF. We will also apply any embargo required by the publisher, after which manuscripts will become open access in ePrints.

REF open access eligibilty status

Publications added to MyImpact are assessed against the REF open access requirements and given a REF eligibility status to highlight any actions required.

REF open access eligibilty status indicators

Policy exceptions

In certain circumstances, outputs not meeting the open access requirements may still be submitted to the REF. Allowed exceptions are defined in the HEFCE policy. Where required, authors should apply for an exception via MyImpact.

  1. To apply for an exception, click Manage Full Text then Apply for an exception
  2. Apply for a REF open access exception
  3. Select your faculty and enter details of the circumstances requiring an open access exception.
  4. Submit request for REF open access exception
  5. Click Send to email your request to your faculty research manager for consideration.

If the exception is approved, the open access team will amend the MyImpact record and the publication will show as eligible for REF (by exception).