REF and open access

REF 2029

The next REF is expected to be in 2029 and a new REF open access policy is in development. We will update these pages as details are made available.

Research England have advised that the REF 2021 policy should be followed until any updates are made.

This means authors should continue to follow the guidance below until further notice.

All published articles and proceedings submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) are required to be open access. This page will help you:

  • Find out more about the REF open access policy.
  • Understand how to make your research outputs REF-eligible.

REF 2021 open access policy

The REF 2021 open access policy requires all published articles and proceedings submitted to the REF to be open access.

To comply with the policy and submit your work to the REF, authors must self-archive their author accepted manuscript (AAM) into Pure immediately on acceptance.

The AAM must be be deposited within three months of the acceptance date (as given in the acceptance letter or e-mail from the publisher to the author).

  • This version is also known as the ‘final author version’ or ‘post-print’ and is after peer-review but before final formatting.
  • The Pure record created may be amended with an updated peer-reviewed manuscript or the final published version of record later (if you have chosen to publish open access through your publisher or platform.)

See 'How to comply with the REF open access policy' for more information.


Email if you have any questions about the REF open access policy.

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