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Open Access & the next REF

For the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) process there is a policy on open access.

This policy states that to be eligible for the inclusion for the REF journal articles and conference contributions accepted on or after 1 April 2016 must be deposited into a repository. University of Warwick’s policy is that all outputs should be deposited in our institutional repository, WRAP.

3 step process to compliance with the policy

A flight of stairs

My journal article or conference contribution (published with an ISSN) has been accepted for publication and I want to make it eligible for the next REF process:

What should I do?

Deposit the accepted, peer-reviewed version of your paper. This is the version that has not had any publisher copy-editing but incorporates any changes following peer-review.

When should I deposit?

As soon as possible, but no later than three months after the date of acceptance.

Where should I deposit to?

To our simple deposit form.

Any concerns or questions?

Please email publications at warwick dot ac dot uk.

(PDF Document) View or print the 3 step process.

Once you have deposited your article into WRAP it will be made open access in accordance with any publisher embargo policies and the team will contact you if there is anything else we need from you to ensure compliance.

Please keep your WRAP publications list up to date. To update an earlier publications deposit with a web link/DOI, or final volume number/publication dates, please use request changes form.

Article versions

The Research England policy asks for the author’s accepted and final peer-reviewed text (which may otherwise be known as the ‘author manuscript’ or ‘final author version’ or ‘post-print’).

This is the last ‘author owned’ version before the publisher begins copy-editing and additional added value services. As shown in the diagram it is the version that incorporates all of the changes after peer review and is formally accepted by the journal.

Flow diagram of article versions

Image courtesy of HEFCE

If you have any questions about identifying the correct version, please contact the team: publications at warwick dot ac dot uk

Key points of the REF Policy

To be eligible for REF submission, journal articles and conference proceedings must have been deposited in an open access repository, and made open access within a specified time.

  • Papers accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 should be deposited within 3 months of acceptance
  • The policy is mandatory for journal articles and conference contibutions with an ISSN but strongly encouraged for all other outputs. The University recommends that authors consider this applying immediately
  • Publishers often impose a delay before repositories can make manuscripts openly available
    • The maximum permitted embargo is 12 months (for Panels A and B) or 24 months (Panels C and D)
    • Articles still under embargo are eligible for REF submission, provided they meet the requirements of the policy

Further information

  • Got a question? Would you like more information about the policy at a team or departmental meeting? Please contact us at publications at warwick dot ac dot uk
  • The previous REF2021 policy is available on the REF2021 website
  • The University of Warwick’s open access policy
  • Open Access Funding is available, for more information and to apply
  • Guide on How to deposit your work in WRAP

Photo accreditation: Photo by John Loo, CC-BY



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