May 22, 2022

UK: Four Higher Ed Funding Bodies Publish New Policy For Open Access in Post-2014 Research Excellence Framework

From the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE):

The policy describes new eligibility requirements for outputs submitted to the post-2014 REF. These requirements apply to all journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016. They do not apply to monographs, other long-form publications, creative or non-text outputs, or data.

The requirements state that peer-reviewed manuscripts must be deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. The title and author of these deposits, and other descriptive information [Note 1], must be discoverable straight away by anyone with a search engine. The manuscripts must then be accessible for anyone to read and download once any embargo period has elapsed.

There are limited exceptions to the policy, where depositing and arranging access to the manuscript is not achievable.

This policy was developed following an extensive two-stage consultation during 2013, to which we received over 460 written responses.

[Note 1] The output must be presented in a way that allows it to be discovered by readers and by automated tools such as search engines. The discovery requirements should typically be fulfilled through the storage and open presentation of a bibliographic or metadata record in the repository.

Read the Complete News Release/Summary and Notes

Direct to Full Text of Policy Circular

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.