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Support for Researchers at the University of Derby: Funder Policies: Open Access

Research Funders: Open Access Policies

An increasing number of funding bodies now have policies in place that require grant holders to make any resulting publications freely available via Open Access routes. These policies are a condition of grant and it is important to gain an understanding of these in order to comply. The Strategic Bids and Applied Research Team can provide help on research funding applications. Their details can be found on the Staff Intranet site.

Research England Policy for REF 2021

Research England have published details of a new policy for open access for the REF 2021

The policy requires that, in order to be eligible for Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) journal articles and conference proceedings 
with an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 must be made open access by depositing full-text papers into an online repository. The policy does not apply to monographs, other long-form publications, creative or non-text outputs, or data. You can find out more details of their policy here.

Outputs must be deposited in a repository, such as UDORAat the point of acceptance

The Policy Criteria

  • The policy refers to journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN.
  • It came into effect for outputs accepted for publication after 1st April 2016.
  • Deposit must be of the author's accepted and final peer reviewed text.
  • Qualifying outputs must have a record in a repository within 3 months of the date of publication. As of 1st April 2018 qualifying outputs must have a record in a repository within 3 months of acceptance, i.e. the date with the publisher notifies the author.
  • The author's accepted and final peer reviewed version of the paper must be made accessible within 1 month after deposit or after the end of the publisher embargo period. The maximum embargo periods are 12 months for REF Panels A and B, and 24 months for REF Panels C and D.
  • Qualifying research outputs that do not comply will not be eligible for REF submission.


Occasionally, it will not be possible for an output to fulfill the criteria. An exception is allowed in the following cases.

  1. You were not employed by a UK HEI at the point of acceptance.
  2. You did not have use of a repository at the time of acceptance.
  3. You experienced a delay securing the final peer-reviewed text (e.g. for multi-authored papers).
  4. It would be unlawful, or present a security risk, to deposit the output.
  5.  Output depends on third party content for which open access rights could not be granted.
  6. The publication concerned required an embargo period that exceeds the stated maxima, and was the most appropriate output.
  7. The publication concerned actively disallows open access deposit, and was the most appropriate output.
  8. At acceptance, you were at a difference UK HEI that failed to comply.
  9. A short-term technical failure with the repository prevented compliance.
  10. A external service provider failure prevented compliance (e.g. a subject repository ceased to operate).

If your paper does not meet the output requirements for a reason not listed above it will require a short written explanation on why it could not meet the requirements. You can more details about criteria for exceptions in the REF 2021 Guidance on Submissions in paragraphs 252 - 255.

How to comply

To comply with the Research England policy; upon receiving notification of acceptance from your publisher, the eligible research output should have a record entered into a repository, such as UDORA, with the full-text uploaded. To comply using UDORA:

  1. Log in to UDORA
  2. 'Submit an item' and select the appropriate Department or Research Centre Collection
  3. Check journal permissions using information provided by Sherpa/Romeo
  4. Create a comprehensive record, completing all fields: Authors, Affiliation, Date, Title, Keywords
  5. 'Add document' and upload the final peer-reviewed version of your paper, entering an embargo period if required by the publisher.
  6. Add a Creative Commons License, if allowed and desired, and grant the UDORA Distribution License. If your article has already been published then yiu can skip this step. 

For more information, see the UDORA pages for videos and a quick guide.

Funding councils and organisations