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Open Access & Institutional Repository: REF2021

Don't miss out, make your research count!

Accepted for publication?
Make sure your work can meet REF Open Access requirements

Upload manuscript

What I need to do from 1st April 2016

What the Library will do

  • Add the correct embargo
  • Add the correct license information to support reuse
  • Update your record with complete metadata, including published dates, when available
  • Provide you with advice and answer queries
  • Check your accepted manuscript supports an in-text search

What will happen if I don't..

HEFCE state that: 

"Any output submitted to the next REF that falls within the scope of this policy but does not meet its requirements or exceptions will be treated as non-compliant. Non-compliant outputs will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed in the REF.


HEFCE allow certain exceptions to the Open Access Policy. Please read paragraphs 38-41 of the REF2021 Policy for further details.

The ePrints team will record exceptions regarding embargo length or where publications disallow Open Access.

The REF Planning Group has set up a sub-group to approve any other exception. Please email for further information.

Tim Elliot, PVC Research on Research Eligibility for the REF

Tim Elliot, interim PVC Research on why it is important to act on acceptance.

Why I need to do it: HEFCE Open Access Policy and the REF

To be eligible for the next REF exercise, upload all articles and conference proceedings to our institutional repository on acceptance.

You must also upload the Accepted Manuscript of your article, i.e. the peer-reviewed version of your article with publisher's edits, but not the final published layout.

You can find the policy here. HEFCE have also produced a list of FAQs.

More information about the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and why it is important.

Which version?

which version is the accepted manuscript? (CC-BY-SA)

Further policy guidance

The University of Southampton revised its Open Access Policy in February 2016.

Further information on services provided by the Library to support the policy, including monitoring progress, is available via Open Access to research outputs: supporting policy compliance (March 2016)


Accepted Manuscript (AM) - The peer-reviewed version of an article/conference proceeding that has been accepted for publication. The content of the article is the same as the published version, but it is not the final published article with the publisher's typesetting and layout (e.g. page numbers).

Embargo - an embargo is a time period during which your article must not be made publicly available via the institutional repository. The embargo will vary depending on the publisher. The paper will be locked down and set to release automatically on the appropriate date.

Contact Us

For help or advice with any Open Access or ePrints Soton query:


or phone the ePrints team on 023 8059 2370 (internal extension 22370)


REF Open Access FAQs

1.Who is affected?

2. Which manuscript do I upload?

3. Who can create publication details?

4. Who can upload manuscripts?

5. Which version of my work is the accepted manuscript?

6. Does the HEFCE requirement apply to PhD students?

7. When do I need to upload?

8. Do I need to deposit my book chapters and books for them to be eligible for the next REF?

9. What if I already deposit in a subject repository?

10. Can I deposit in ResearchGate or

11. What is the date of acceptance?

12. I have just joined the University - what about my previous papers?

13. What if I think that my publication will not be submitted to the next REF?

14. What if I/my co-author does not want the author manuscript to be publicly available?

15. The publisher does not permit open access via an institutional repository – do I need to pay the publisher?