Open access and the REF

To be eligible for submission to future REF exercises, all journal articles and conference proceedings (with an ISSN) must be made open access (OA) where possible. The easiest way to do this is through the green OA route, by depositing the author's accepted manuscript (AAM) in myPublications. This must be done within 3 months of the acceptance date.

Library staff will then check the details and make them available in White Rose Research Online (WRRO).The AAM will only be made available open access in WRRO if permitted by the publisher, and after any embargo period has expired.

REF open access workflow: Article accepted. Deposit author accepted manuscript in my

Articles available through the gold OA route on first publication are also eligible for submission to the REF. However, it is strongly recommended that these are also deposited in WRRO via myPublications.

NB Gold OA items should have a Creative Commons licence statement on the downloadable article. Those simply labelled ‘free’ or with an open padlock symbol are not gold OA.

Points to remember:

  • If you do not have the AAM, you should contact the corresponding author. If you are struggling to obtain the AAM within 3 months of the acceptance date, contact for advice.
  • If the journal does not allow open access, or its embargo period doesn’t comply with the REF OA policy (12 months for STEM subjects, 24 months for AHSS), the AAM should still be deposited in myPublications within 3 months of acceptance. In this and certain other circumstances, articles that do not meet OA requirements may still be submitted to the REF. You can find details of exceptions to the REF OA policy here.
  • Depositing a 'near final’ version in a preprint server such as arXiv satisfies REF OA requirements, but it must be done before first online journal publication. You should also deposit it in myPublications and update the details on publication. NB Commercial social networking sites such as ResearchGate and are not compliant with the REF OA policy.

You can find more information about REF 2021 on the Research Services website.

For further information, contact