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REF Policy

REF Policy

Understand how to ensure that your research is eligible for the Research Excellence Framework.

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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 accepted manuscript must be deposited in an appropriate repository within three months of acceptance. Publisher embargoes on access to 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.

How to make your papers REF eligible 

Newcastle University supports authors in meeting the REF open access requirements using MyImpact and ePrints as described below and in our video guide.

On submission

  1. Check your journal meets the policy requirements. To discuss any issues or 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.

On acceptance

  1. Change the bibliographic status of the MyImpact record to In press
  2. Add the Acceptance date
  3. 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 publisher-formatted versions to a repository.

Processing of uploaded manuscripts

The open access team review all manuscripts uploaded to MyImpact before they are made open access in ePrints. We check the publisher's open access policy, apply any embargo period required and will contact authors to discuss any issues with meeting the open access requirements for REF.

REF open access eligibility status

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

Policy exceptions

In certain circumstances, outputs not meeting the open access requirements may still be submitted to the REF under an exception as defined in the REF2021 Guidance on submissions. Where required, authors should apply for an exception via MyImpact as described below.

  1. To apply for an exception, click Manage Full Text then Apply for an exception
  2. Select your faculty and then select the appropriate exception from the drop-down menu. MyImpact will provide guidance on the exception and any supporting information or additional actions required.
  3. 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 to show as eligible for REF (by exception).