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 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.

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

How to make your papers REF eligible

Newcastle University authors should meet the REF open access requirements by using MyImpact and ePrints as described below and in our print and video guides.

On submission
  1. Check if your journal meets the policy requirements. Please contact us if you identify any issues or are unsure how to interpret the results.
  2. Add publication details to MyImpact with a bibliographic status of In preparation. You can suppress publications from your web profile if you prefer.
  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 (required field)
  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 publisher-formatted versions 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 under an exception as 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 exception request to your faculty for consideration.

If the exception is approved by faculty, the open access team will update MyImpact so that the publication shows as eligible for REF (by exception).