Response to HEFCE's policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework

31 March 2014

Commenting on HEFCE’s policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome the fact that HEFCE have taken on board many of our recommendations in revising their policies on open access to research outputs for any future research assessment process.     

“Our universities remain committed to the principles of open access to research, but face a number of challenges in its implementation, not least in relation to the potential costs.

“It is right that academics should be free to publish their work in the most appropriate journals, regardless of open access route, and it is helpful that HEFCE is taking a pragmatic view on embargo periods, licensing and exceptions for when open access deposit isn’t possible.

“The April 2016 start date for the new policy allows time to adapt. However, universities will have to work hard to meet this deadline to develop and roll-out internal processes and ensure the repository infrastructure is up to the task. We hope publishers, research funders and external repository owners will engage with us constructively to make this work.”

Notes to Editors

  1. HEFCE’s open access proposals are available here.

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