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Open access

Research Data Management

REF requirements

The HEFCE policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) currently applies to all journal articles and conference proceedings (with an ISSN) accepted for publication. The University of Exeter expects that all publications of this type comply with the HEFCE REF policy and therefore are available for submission to the next REF:

  • The output must be deposited in a repository (institutional, shared service or disciplinary) – you can 'Deposit on Acceptance' into Exeter’s repository, Open Research Exeter (ORE) through Symplectic.
  • The output must be deposited no later than three months after acceptance.
  • The output deposited should be the accepted version‌ (following peer review).

This policy does not apply to monographs, book chapters or other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs or data.

HEFCE has introduced an exception to the deposit requirements for outputs published via the paid (gold) route in recognition that authors typically prefer to deposit the final published version instead of the accepted manuscript. The exception can be applied where depositing the output on acceptance is: “Not felt to deliver significant additional benefit". The final published version must still be deposited in the repository as soon as possible after publication.

Any output that falls within the scope of the HEFCE policy and is submitted to the next REF but does not meet the requirements, without a valid exception, will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed. It is expected that exceptions will be very limited.

Publisher embargoes

Publisher embargoes are respected. Manuscripts must be free to read and download after the following periods:

  • 12 months for REF Main Panel A and REF Main Panel B (approximately relates to the Colleges of Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter Medical School).
  • 24 months for REF Main Panel C and REF Main Panel D (Approximately relates to the College of Humanities, College of Social Sciences and International Studies, Exeter Business School).

Outputs still under embargo can be selected for the next REF provided the date of first publication is still within the REF reporting period.

Frequently asked questions