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REF open access policy

REF open access policy

REF open access consultation

REF Open Access Consultation is now live on the UKRI engagement hub. The consultation period will conclude at midday on Monday, June 17, 2024. Consultation responses will be analysed and will inform the final policy. While individual responses are strongly encouraged, University of Exeter seeks to compile community feedback for an institutional response. 

To support the institutional consultation: 

The Library is organising two open sessions for all staff to support clarity of the proposal:

A brief Microsoft Form Survey has been prepared to enable feedback from the community. Share your thoughts anonymously by completing the survey by 25th April 6pm. 

Please note that until the final REF 2029 Open Access Policy is implemented, outputs should continue to adhere to REF 2021 Open Access Policy (see below).

REF 2021 open access policy

The REF 2021 open access policy (paragraphs 105-114 and 223-255 in the Guidance on submissions) applies to all journal articles and conference contributions (with an ISSN) accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 and published on or before 31 December 2020. The University of Exeter expects all publications within this scope to comply with REF open access policy and therefore to be available for submission to the REF.

  • The output must be deposited in a repository.
  • The output must be deposited no later than three months after acceptance.
  • The output deposited should be the accepted version‌.

In order to be eligible for submission to the REF, upload your accepted manuscript, upon (within three months of) acceptance, via Symplectic to the institutional repository Open Research Exeter (ORE).

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

The REF 2021 publication period closed on 31 December 2020, and completion of submissions was 31 March 2021. A new open access policy is in development; details will be provided here when available. In the meantime, Research England advise that the REF 2021 open access policy should be followed until further notice. Please therefore continue to upload your accepted manuscripts to ORE in accordance with the guidance above.

Paid immediate ("gold") open access outputs

Outputs that are published open access, immediately upon online publication, are considered to meet the requirements of REF 2021 open access policy. These outputs should still be uploaded via Symplectic to ORE, as required by University open access policy.

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 College 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.

Open access and the REF

The REF 2021 open access policy applies to journal articles and conference proceedings (with an ISSN) accepted for publication after 01 April 2016. To be eligible for submission to REF 2021, the accepted manuscript must have been deposited in a repository within three months of acceptance for publication.