HEFCE changes open access policy

24 July 2015

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), acting on behalf of the UK’s four funding councils, has today (24 July) set out changes to its policy for open access research in the next Research Excellence Framework.

Welcoming these changes, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“I am pleased that HEFCE has made these small, but crucial, changes. They will ease the administrative burden on staff in our universities, while at the same time working towards making more research freely available.

“These changes come at a time of significant uncertainty for research funding and change to the research publishing landscape. It is important that universities are not burdened by additional red tape and associated costs, and academics have the freedom to publish in the most appropriate way.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The changes include altering the requirement that from April 2016 for a research output to be included in the REF it must be made available through an open access route at the point of acceptance (or at most three months after this date). Instead, HEFCE will now allow research outputs to be made open access up to three months after publication until at least April 2017 (and until such time that the systems to support deposit at acceptance are in place).
  2. HEFCE has also clarified that universities will be given the opportunity to correct any mistakes if it transpires that a particular research output inadvertently did not meet this requirement.

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