Scholarly Communications

Open access

REF requirements

There are three main open access requirements for the next REF (expected to be in 2021):

  • The output must be deposited in the Institutional Repository (via LUPIN)
  • The output must be deposited within three months of the output being accepted.
  • The deposited output must be the accepted version (post-peer review but before the publisher's formatting has been added).

The policy doesn't apply to monographs, book chapters, working papers, creative or practiced-based research outputs or data.

Your research output must be deposited in line with the requirements above but it doesn't have to be open access immediately. 

Hefce will allow embargo periods before the output is open access:

  • For REF Main Panels A and B (mainly STEM subject areas) the allowed embargo period is 12 months.
  • For REF Main Panels C and D (mainly HASS subject areas) the allowed embargo period is 24 months.

If your output does not meet the HEFCE open access requirements then it will not be eligible for the next REF. It is anticipated that very few exceptions will be allowed. If your chosen journal is not compliant with these requirements please contact researchpolicy@lboro.ac.uk for advice.