This year Open Access (OA) will become mandatory for journal articles for REF, so we’d like to give all our journal contributors and editors a quick reminder about it.

The key date is 1 April 2016, afterwhich OA will be an essential requirement for journal articles accepted for publication.

A helpful document for familiarising yourselves with the requirements of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE, whose policy includes HEFCW) regarding OA can be found in HEFCE’s policy document, updated in July 2015 (ref: 2014/07) and available online here:,86771,en.html. This document also includes instructions regarding the timing of deposit in repositories.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) also has an OA requirement for articles which acknowledge RCUK funding; for further details see: research/outputs/.

Please inform UWP or journal editors directly if you have any OA requirementswhen submitting the manuscript of your article for publication to the Journal Editor and also to UWP, specifying if your requirement is for Green or Gold OA.

Green OA:

Our embargo period for Green OA is eighteen months, to begin on the last day in the month of publication of the print version. The version of record for deposit should be your accepted and final peer-reviewed version (not the published version), and should be for non-commercial purposes only. The inclusion of third-party material for OA in the deposited article will be at your, or your institution’s, own risk. As usual, please clear the rights to use any copyrighted third-party material for print and electronic formatsin good time before submitting your article to the journal editors or UWP.

Gold OA:

If you require Gold OA, i.e. OA access immediately upon publication, please contact us, and we can discuss an Article Processing Charge (APC) with you.

UWP will continue to accept and publish articles by authors without requirements for the REF under pre-existing arrangements.

If you have any OA requirements or queries, please contact Catherine Jenkins at UWP, who will be happy to help: