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Open Access & Institutional Repository: REF2021

Don't miss out, make your research count!

Accepted for publication?
Make sure your work meets Open Access requirements

Upload manuscript

Tim Elliot, PVC Research on Research Eligibility for the REF

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

What will happen if I don't..

Research England 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.

Thinking ahead to REF2028? The open access policy relating to journal articles and conference proceedings is expected to continue for the REF-after-REF2021.


Research England 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.

What authors, or their delegates, need to do from 1st April 2016

  • On acceptance create a basic record in PURE
  • This has to be done within 3 months of acceptance unless an exception applies.
  • Include your DOI if known.
  • Upload your Accepted Manuscript (AM) / Send a copy of the AM with a link to your PURE record to
  • For instructions about publicity and press embargoes, see the box called, 'Dealing with press and publicity restrictions' at

What the Library will do

  • Add the correct manuscript 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. email
  • Check your accepted manuscript supports an in-text search

Journal article versions

Diagram showing that the submitted and accepted manuscript versions of an article are author owned, and the proof and final version of record are publisher owned

Created by the Office of Scholarly Communication, Cambridge University Libraries, available under a CC BY licence 

Contact Us

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


Why I need to do it: UKRI 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. More information about the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and why it is important.