What you need to know about REF open access

In April 2016 new open access requirements came into force, requiring any peer-reviewed journal articles that will be submitted to REF to be made open access at the point of acceptance.

For UoB researchers, this means that all details of their journal articles should be added to Pure within three months of acceptance, along with a copy of the final Author Accepted Manuscript. The Digital Assets team in the Library check Pure to ensure that the records meet the REF requirements, and that publisher policies are not contravened. The team are also happy to offer advice to staff throughout the process.

Six months on from the introduction of these requirements, we have compiled a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions:    


What do I need to record in Pure?

The essentials we need are:

  • who (the author and institution),
  • when (date accepted),
  • where (journal/conference),
  • what (the author’s accepted manuscript).

The desirables: other dates (publication or/and first online), abstract, volume/page numbers or ISBN, key words, DOI or URL.

Download our quick guide to adding an output to Pure

What is the Author Accepted Manuscript?

The Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is your version of the manuscript after peer review and including any final changes, but before publisher typesetting or copy-editing by the publisher.

We are not usually able to use proof versions, becuase most journal policies do not allow later publisher fornatted versions to be deposited for open access purposes.

Is the version downloaded from the publisher site ok?

Usually no. Unless the publisher has been paid to make the article open access immediately then you cannot usually use the publisher version in this way. However some journal policies do permit this, so please contact the Digital Assets team for more information about a particular journal. 

To find out more about when you should pay for open access see the Library pages

I have been accepted, but have amendments to make. Should I add this to Pure?

You should create a record of the output in Pure as soon as possible after it has been accepted, and upload the current version of the author accepted manuscript. If you have to make further changes you can add another amended version of the document to the record and we will ensure the most up to date is made available. DO NOT delete any documents previously uploaded in Pure.

The paper has now been published, can I add the new date?

Yes, and it is very helpful to do so. When adding a new publication date, please make sure that you add it as a new date, rather than editing an existing one. You can do this by clicking the "Add publication status and date" button. Please DO NOT overwrite the acceptance date, as this is needed to show the paper is REF eligible.

I'm not the corresponding author and don't have a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript?

Please contact the corresponding author for a copy of the final AAM and the acceptance date as soon as possible. If you are unable to get these you must still create a record as usual, but contact the Library team to let them know you have been unable to secure the required information. 

What about the publisher's copyright policy?

Most publishers have policies and statements regarding the authors copyright permissions. Most of these policies do permit authors to deposit their final author accepted manuscript without breaching their agreement. When you create a record in Pure, the Digital Assets team will check the publisher/journal policy for you as well as the REF requirements.


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The paper has already been added to Pure, how to I add myself to the record?

If you are adding a paper to Pure you should ensure that all internal co-authors are added to the record. If you have not been added to a record all you need to do is click "Claim this content" at the bottom of the record. The Digital Assets team will check this and make the required changes. 

A paper that isn't mine has appeared in my list, what do I do?

Simply click on the "- " button beside your name. The Library team will check this and update the record. 

My article is available as open access on the publisher website, do I still need to add it to Pure?

In this circumstance, we do still need you to create a record of the outout in Pure. However we would not need you to upload the final author accepted manuscript if a later version is available as open access.

I have just had a bookchapter/monograph accepted. Do I need to add the Author Accepted Manuscript to Pure?

No, at the moment there is no requirement for book chapters or monographs to be made open access for REF. However we would like you to create a record of these outputs in Pure once they are published.

If you additionally wish to make these types of output open access, you are welcome to contact the publisher regarding permission - for more guidance on this please contact the Digital Assets team.

It has been more than three months since the acceptance date. What do I do?

Create a record for the output in Pure as soon as possible. 

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