HEFCE have announced their intention to “introduce a requirement that all outputs submitted to the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise are published on an open-access basis” (para 8), with some flexibility and exceptions for where this is not reasonably possible.
HEFCE’s proposals would require research outputs submitted to post-2014 REFs to be accessible through an institutional repository (such as the University of Bath’s Opus). Both green and gold forms of open access would be acceptable, and there would be an allowance for reasonable embargo periods for green open access.
For me, the most striking part of the proposal is the intention that “work which has been originally published in an ineligible form then retrospectively made available in time for the post-2014 REF submission date should not be eligible, as the primary objective of this proposal is to stimulate immediate open-access publication” (para 12). This means we need to start acting on this now. It can’t wait until the next REF!
Read the full document: ‘Open Access and Submissions to the Research Excellence Framework post-2014’.
HEFCE invite responses to this consultation by 25th March 2013.