Open Access Policies

There are several stakeholders working together to realise the UK Government's open access aspirations for research publications and for the open access distribution of unpublished research outputs. Major research funders have an interest in achieving maximum impact from funded research; typically the research contract will include a requirement to publish in an open access journal or upload the article on an open access repository within a stated time frame.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has introduced an open access policy for articles and certain conference papers which will govern Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions from the 1st of April 2016 until the REF 2021 cut-off for publication of research outputs on the 31st December 2020.

Authors planning to submit journal articles (or conference papers published in conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)) should verify that any publishers' embargo does not exceed the permitted maximum for the Main REF Panel for their subject discipline. The maximum embargo for Main REF Panels A and B (STEM) is 12 months and for Main REF Panels C and D (Social Sciences and Humanities) the maximum embargo permitted is 24 months. After 1st April 2016, authors who publish in journals with embargoes that exceed the stated Main REF Panel maximum may not be able to include these articles in the REF 2021 submission unless they can claim an exception. REF 2021 Units of Assessment gives the Main REF Panel for each subject.

This is the final guidance on submissions. Details of the open access policy are on pages 26-7 and 54 onwards and exceptions to the open access compliance requirements are on page 58.

This document sets out the funding bodies’ decisions on the submission of staff and outputs in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), and decisions on further related aspects, as follows: submitting staff, small submissions, submitting outputs, number of impact case studies required, UOA structure and multiple submissions, and eligibility to participate in the REF for providers in England.

Publishers also have open access and self-archiving policies for the specific journals they produce and the majority are supporting open access. Publishers may set embargoes to protect their commercial interests. Sherpa/RoMEO contains details of the policies of 3000 journals, if the journal you published in is not listed the policy may be published on the publisher's website or you can contact the publisher's permissions office or nominated agent.

The University of Gloucestershire Open Access Policy outlines the requirements for University employees and provides guidance to authors and creators to assist in achieving compliance with potentially multiple open access policies.

The Research Repository is the main reporting tool for Research Excellence Framework (REF).

University Of Gloucestershire

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University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.