Frequently Asked Questions on the REF.

Q. If the journal/conference is open access from publication, do I still need to deposit the author's final version of the paper in PURE?

A. No.  The REF policy has now changed and the author's final version is no longer required.  You do still need to enter the details of the paper into PURE.  If you choose to enter the paper via the admin team, please make sure you say that it will be open access once published.

Q. What counts as date of acceptance?

A. The HEFCE FAQ ( says date of acceptance is after any "academically necessary changes" have been made.  This is normally the step before typesetting and final copy editing.

Q. The journal I want to publish in has an embargo period of 12 months - is this REF compliant?

A. Yes.  The Computer Science and Informatics Unit of Assessment allows up to 12 months between the paper being published and it being make open access.  Staff submitted with other UoAs may have different embargo periods, but these are all at least 12 months.  If in doubt about the embargo period likely to apply to you, please contact KM.

Q. Do I need to pay for Gold Open Access to be compliant with the REF policy?

A. Probably not.  Most journals and conferences in Informatics areas allow self-archiving (Green OA) within the 12 months allowed by the REF policy.  If you have questions about a particular publication venue, please contact KM.

Q. How do I find out if a journal or conference allows self-archiving?

A. The best source for journals is the SHERPA/RoMEO service.  For conferences it can be a little less obvious, though information on what rights you retain should always be found in any copyright transfer form that you sign.  As a general rule, ACM, IEEE and conferences that are published in Springer LNCS allow self-archiving with no embargo period.  If you have questions about a particular publication venue, please contact KM.

Q. Why the date of acceptance?  Wouldn't date of publication be easier?

A. Date of publication probably would be easier, but HEFCE have decided on the date of acceptance, as they consider this to be the point author's are most engaged with their paper.  They also say this date as unambiguous and verifiable.