Open Access Policies

The Higher Education sector is awaiting revised guidance for the REF 2029 open access policy for articles, conference papers, and potentially publications in the form of book sections or books.  Authors submitting a journal article or conference paper from 1 January 2021 are advised to follow the REF 2021 open access policy guidance. The information provided here will be updated when the revised open access requirements for the REF 2029 period are available.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) introduced an open access policy for articles and 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. Research England replaced HEFCE in 2018.

Research England recently confirmed that the next Research Excellence Framework will take place in 2029. REF 2028: Initial decisions and issues for further consultation (REF 2028/23/01) During autumn 2023 Research England will consult stakeholders including HEIs on the open access policy for REF 2029. The policy will introduce open access for long-form publications (book sections, monographs, edited books) published on or after 1st Jan 2024. Although broader in scope, the REF 2029 open access policy is expected to resemble UKRI's Open access policy.

REF 2029 will retain the REF 2021 Unit of Assessment structure and will include advisory panels on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and Interdisciplinary research.  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. From the 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.

 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 policy details for 22,000 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 UKRI's open access policy applies to publications that are based on UKRI funded research. From Jan 2024 the policy includes long-form publications ie monographs, chapters and edited books published on or after the 1st Jan 2024 (some exceptions are permitted eg existence of a pre 2024 contract to publish). UKRI have provided a fund of £3.5 million per annum for which research organisations can apply for on behalf of authors whose research is funded by UKRI and which is within scope of the long-form open access policy. There are limits on the amount of funding an author can claim per output and per research grant. The maximum amounts per output type include VAT @ 20%. Applications for UKRI open research fund open on 30th Nov 2023 and are made by an author's employing research organisation (includes HEIs). UKRI funded student publications that are based on their PhD are also eligible for funding. UKRI open access publication funds are paid to the HEI retrospectively on confirmation of publication and funds are administered by the research organisation.

UKRI Open Access Policy for longform publications The UKRI has provided guidance on the scope of the long-form OA policy, there are a variety of ways to meet the policy requirements, a choice of licenses, and defined maximum embargo periods are permitted within the policy. UKRI have provided comprehensive guidance on rights clearance and licensing of 3rd party copyright material included in published works. Research articles are not within scope of the long-form open access policy. University of Gloucestershire UKRI funded researchers and UKRI sponsored students are able to use current read and publish deals subscribed to by the University, carefully check the terms and conditions before submitting your article.

Applications for long-form publication funding can be submitted from 30th Nov 2023. The application is submitted by the nominated institutional contact (to be confirmed). Application is via a 2 stage process and both stages must be completed. The purpose of Stage 1 is to give the author and the research organisation assurance before a legal contract is signed that the output is eligible to be supported. Register monographs, book chapters and edited collections for UKRI open access funding (Stage 1) Funds are not allocated for publications at Stage 1. Funding is only guaranteed following successful submission of a Stage 2 application for reimbursement. Stage 2 of the submission provides confirmation that open access publication has taken place in a form that conforms fully with the policy and a publication URL must be provided. UKRI will check compliance with its OA policy. Claims for reimbursement of costs are dealt with by UKRI in either June of Dec each year commencing in June 2024.

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).

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