REF 2021 - don't get caught out!

REF 2021 - don't get caught out!

Issued: Tue, 29 Aug 2017 16:10:00 BST

Message from Professor Miles Padgett, Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy and Vice-Principal for Research.

Dear Colleague,

The rules for REF 2021 are coming together and will be known later this summer. In the meantime, the most important thing we can do is to make our outputs eligible to be submitted, by ensuring that they respect REF open access rules.
We’ve made it simple to comply with the REF policy – please read the guidance below, and seek advice from the Library or the REF team if you are still unsure. Their contact details are provided.


An important 'must read' reminder about REF 2021 - don't get caught out!

To be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) we need your journal articles and conference proceedings to comply with specific Open Access requirements.

What is the policy?

The final peer-reviewed manuscript of your journal OR conference papers accepted after 1 April 2016 must satisfy the following two criteria:

1.  They must have been deposited into an institutional (i.e. Enlighten) or subject repository

and then

2.  They must be made Open Access within a defined period (12 months for STEM subjects and 24 months for Arts and Social Sciences subjects)

What do I need to do?

It’s easy. As soon as you receive the acceptance email from the publisher, forward it to the Library at

I have more questions

Then please contact us. We don’t make the rules but we’re here to help you make sense of them.

For advice on Open Access, contact or visit:

For other information on REF, contact or visit