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|The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) undertakes a quality assessment of research conducted at UK universities every 5 or 6 years. This informs a league table of research excellence for institutions and individual Units of Assessment (similar to disciplines) as well as the allocation of public research funding to institutions. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 was the most recent quality assessment. For the next exercise, HEFCE have introduced an Open Access requirement.|
This policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016. It does not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data.
By this point, the paper should have been updated to include all changes resulting from peer review as well as any changes of an academic nature requested by the journal editor or conference organiser. At this stage, the journal editor or conference organiser normally notifies the author that their paper has been ‘firmly’ accepted (as opposed to any earlier point of ‘provisional’ acceptance e.g. conditional on major or minor revisions being made) and the paper is ready for copy-editing or typesetting; it is the date of this notification that should be taken to mean the date of acceptance.
The author’s final, accepted manuscript is the one that has been agreed with the editor at that point. The accepted manuscript not the same as the copy-edited, typeset or published paper — these versions are known as ‘proofs’ or ‘versions of record’ and publishers do not normally allow authors to make these open-access.
If you think an exception needs to be applied, please alert your Unit of Assessment Coordinator using the Form for exceptions to the HEFCE policy for open access (Word) to provide evidence for the exception. If your Coordinator agrees that an exception needs to be applied, they will communicate the evidence provided in the form to SHURA, where the evidence will be kept with the affected SHURA record.
You can find your Unit of Assessment Coordinator here.
HEFCE policy: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/oa/
Please note that in these cases HEFCE does require (1) a closed deposit within three months of the date of acceptance, and (2) that the output is made available via Open Access as soon as possible.
At the point of publication