May 22, 2022

UK: “REF Open-Access Requirement For Books “Worth the Outlay’”

From Times Higher Education:

As preparations for the 2021 research excellence framework continue apace, UK-based academics could be forgiven for pushing the 2027 assessment to the back of their minds for now.

However, one specific element of the plans for the REF after next has been triggering lively debate in recent weeks: the proposed extension of open-access requirements for submitted outputs to include long-form scholarly works and monographs.

The UK’s research funders, which first proposed the change in December 2016, argue that requiring books submitted to the REF to be freely available reflects higher education’s shift towards open-access models.

…the move has been criticised by some scholars who question how universities will be able to afford the book-processing charges associated with open-access publishing for all titles published from 2020 onwards.

Martin Eve (OLH) and Richard Prosser (RLUK) are quoted in the article.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 750 words)

See Also: Full Text of Statement from Royal Historical Society:
Open-Access and Long-Form (Book) Publishing in the 2027 REF Exercise: A Briefing Note for UK-based Historians

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.