Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Act on Acceptance!

HEFCE’s post 2014 REF Open Access Policy

HEFCE requires that to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, the final peer reviewed (‘author accepted’) manuscript of all articles and conference proceedings submitted from 1 April 2016 must be deposited in an open access institutional or subject repository (such as ORA) within three (3) months of being accepted for publication (the date of acceptance being as given in the acceptance letter or e-mail from the publication to the author).

The title and author of these deposits and other descriptive information must be discoverable straight away by anyone with a search engine.

The manuscripts must then be accessible for anyone to read and download once any reasonable embargo period has elapsed.

‘Non-compliant outputs will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed in theREF’.

The change in policy formally takes effect for outputs accepted for publication from 1 April 2016, but in order to be fully compliant by that date, colleagues are encouraged to start Acting on Acceptance from now.

In response to HEFCE’s changed OA policy, the message, to all academics and researchers employed by the collegiate University, is:

  • deposit all your newly-accepted journal articles and conference papers into ORA
  • do it through Symplectic Elements
  • do it within 3 months of the date of acceptance
  • start now

The Bodleian team will check copyright and licensing conditions, create an ORA record and make the full-text available after the embargo period.

The deposited version of the manuscript can be replaced by an updated-peer reviewed version or the published version of record at a later date.

The manuscripts must then be accessible for anyone to read and download once any embargo period has elapsed.

Where outputs have no embargo they must be made open access within one month of deposit.

Listing or posting papers on personal or departmental web sites does not meet HEFCE requirement.

Key points of the policy:

  • applies to journal articles and conference papers (with an ISSN)
  • requires researchers to act on acceptance to deposit their final peer-reviewed text (also known as the ‘Author Accepted Manuscript’)  in a compliant open access repository within three months of the date of acceptance
  • applies to article manuscripts accepted after 1 April 2016
  • readers and search engines must be able to find out about the article straight away
  • full-text must be accessible for anyone to read and download either immediately or after the end of an embargo period*

*Embargo periods should not exceed the following: 12 months for Science and Medicine (REF Main Panels A and B); 24 months for Social Sciences and Humanities (REF Main Panels C and D)

What this means for researchers:

  • actonacceptancehefce.jpegfailure to act will make research outputs ineligible for the next REF
  • requires additional action; meeting the open access requirements of other funders is not enough
  • you still need to meet the requirements of other funders such as RCUK and Wellcome Trust

Oxford’s  message:  you  deposit;  we’ll  take  care  of  the  rest:

  • all academics and researchers employed by the collegiate University
  • all journal articles and conference papers deposited in ORA
  • deposit via Symplectic Elements
  • start now  

The Bodleian team will check copyright and licensing conditions, create an ORA record and make the full-text available if and when it complies with the requirements of your publisher.  

Help and advice available from:

In order to be eligible for the next REF, the final peer-reviewed version of journal articles and conference papers (with an ISSN) must be deposited in an open access repository within three months of acceptance for publication. HEFCE’s requirements are designed to ‘increase substantially the amount of scholarly material that is made available in an open-access form’.