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HEFCE policy on open access announced

The UK has taken another huge step towards open access of its research outputs, with the announcement of a new policy from HEFCE on behalf of all 4 UK funding bodies. The policy describes new eligibility requirements for outputs submitted to the post-2014 REF.

The policy is interesting in its approach; separating out deposit, discovery and access requirements. It applies to journal articles or conference proceedings (with ISSNs) which are accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, with encouragement for institutions to work towards compliance as soon as possible. Certain exceptions will apply, provided these are justified in the eventual REF submission.

At the heart of the policy is the requirement to deposit publications in a repository within 3 months of acceptance. Bibliographic metadata should be made available to allow discovery by readers, and access to the full text must be provided as soon as possible (unless an exception applies). The full text is expected to be an author’s accepted (peer-reviewed) manuscript, and embargo periods are allowed.

Further details on how to comply and support available for St Andrews researchers will be available soon.

Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework available at:


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