REF open access FAQs
Frequently asked questions on the REF Open Access policy.
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?
No. Papers which are made 'gold' open access from the point of publication meet the requirements of the REF policy (GoS 239). You do still need to enter the details of the paper into Pure. If you choose to enter the paper via the RDM team, please make sure you say that it will be open access once published.
What counts as the date of acceptance?
The date of acceptance is the date given in the acceptance letter or email from the publisher to the author confirming "firm" acceptance of publication/presentation at a conference. For work to appear in journals or conference proceedings which do not require peer review, the date of acceptance should be taken as the date the publisher confirms receipt of the author's article and that the paper will subsequently be published (GoS 227-228).
The Research England FAQs further clarify that the date of acceptance is after any "academically necessary changes" have been made. This is normally the step before typesetting and final copy editing. The diagram on the right, also from Research England, further illustrates the process leading to and following the date of acceptance.
The journal I want to publish in has an embargo period of 12 months - is this REF compliant?
Yes. The Computer Science and Informatics UOA 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 (GoS 246).
Do note that if your paper results from funded work, a shorter embargo may be required by your funder. See the Open Access policies page for summaries. If in doubt about the embargo period likely to apply to you, please contact the RDM team.
Do I need to pay for Gold Open Access to be compliant with the REF policy?
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 the RDM team.
How do I find out if a journal or conference allows self-archiving?
The best source for journals is the SHERPA/RoMEO service. For conferences it can be 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. Papers published in ACL Anthology are under a CC-BY license, which allows archiving of the published version. If you have questions about a particular publication venue, please contact the RDM team.
Why do I have to provide the date of acceptance? Would it not be easier to go by the date of publication?
The date of acceptance is the basis for REF open access policy, with the requirement that accepted manscripts are added to the Pure record within 3 months of this date (GoS 236). Further to this, Research England suggest that the date of acceptance has the advantage of precision over the date of publication.
The publication date is also added to the Pure record once available, but does not inform open access requirements (unless an exception is applied, which the RDM team can advise on).