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Are you ready for the REF open access policy?

From 1st April 2016, every researcher who wants to submit their work for the next REF is going to need to understand open access if they want to be eligible for submission.

4 January 2016

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, continues to play a big part in the life of every academic, and every academic institution. If you’re unaware of, or are unsure of what REF is;

REF is the system for assessing research in UK universities. This will determine how much public funding will be allocated to each university, and will directly affect each institution’s reputation. Through the REF, expert panels will assess the quality of research and - for the first time in a national exercise - the impact of research on the economy and society.

In 2014, HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England) announced a new open access component to the next REF. The policy states that any journal article or conference proceeding must be made open access to be eligible for consideration in the next REF; with a few exceptions.

What this means for QMUL authors is that any article or conference proceeding they wish to be considered for the next REF must either be made immediately open access on publication, or deposited in an institutional or subject repository within three months of acceptance.

This policy will have direct consequences for all QMUL researchers and academics who wish to have their work considered for the next REF. To find out more about the next REF, open access and what this might mean for you please check out our new site detailing the REF policy and how it affects you.  

We will also be running a series of events and drops in across the campuses to support researchers and ensure they know how to make their work open access, and thus eligible for the next REF.

If you have any questions, please contact the Repository and Research Information Team at

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