HEFCE Open Access Policy for post-2014 REF

Open Access promomaterial by biblioteekje CC BY-NC-SA 2.0HEFCE has today released its open access policy for the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework.

I was intending to write a short summary this morning, but I’ve already been beaten to it by the ever-excellent Martin Eve, who’s got a “Really Short Version” in four bullets, and an extended abridged version if you want to dig a little deeper.

Martin’s full summary is posted below thanks to the magic of open access (Creative Commons Attribution license to be specific). This guide is aimed at academic staff, so it doesn’t cover some of the stuff around “discoverability” of outputs since that will largely be handled by institutional repository staff. (Incidentally, you shouldn’t worry about the veracity of this account – Martin’s version has already been praised by Ben Johnson, the HEFCE policy manager who co-authored the original policy, on Twitter):

The Really Short Version:

  1. Submit journal article.
  2. Check journal policy at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ (the bits on “post-print” are the thing to pay attention to).
  3. On acceptance go to your institution’s repository and create a record. Upload your author’s accepted version setting the embargo as per SHERPA/RoMEO [at Northumbria repository staff are available to help with this and check it’s set it correctly].
  4. That’s it.

The Geekier Longer Version
Source: “Policy for Open Access in the Post-2014 Research Excellence Framework“, March 31, 2014

Scope

  • Applies to all: journal articles and published conference papers (with ISSN) accepted after 1 April 2016. (Paras 11, 13)
  • Exempted: monographs (“and other-long form publications”), edited collections (without ISSN), non-text outputs, data. (Para 14)
  • Outputs to which this applies are subject to open access deposit, discovery and access requirements. (Para 16) It is anticipated that the “discovery” requirement will be met at the institutional and technological level.
  • “Credit will be given” to institutions exceeding the letter of this policy in a future “research environment” component. (Para 15)
  • “Non-compliant outputs will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed in the REF.” (Para 42)

Deposit Requirements

Authors MUST:

  • upload the “accepted and final peer-reviewed text” to “an institutional repository, a repository service shared between multiple institutions, or a subject repository such as arXiv”. (Paras 17, 19)
  • do so “as soon after the point of [firm (Para 19)] acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date”. (Para 18)

Allowable exceptions:

  • the author did not work at an HEI at time of acceptance.
  • “it would be unlawful to deposit, or request the deposit of, the output”.
  • “depositing the output would present a security risk”. (Para 36)

Authors MAY:

  • upload a subsequent version as a supplement or replacement if the publisher allows it. (Para 19) If a replacement, it must also fulfil the access requirement (Para 33).

Access Requirements

Authors MUST:

  • allow others “search electronically within the text, read it and download it without charge”. (Para 25)
  • respect any ‘embargo period’ (an open access delay) specified by the publisher. (Para 25)
  • but an embargo MUST NOT be longer than 24 months for panels C and D and 12 months for panels A and B. (Para 30)
  • regardless of whether publisher specifies delay, you MUST deposit at time of acceptance (deposit requirement)
  • no specific license is required. It is suggested that CC BY-NC-ND could meet the above provisions. (Para 25)
  • if provisions are made to allow text-mining, which could include more liberal licensing, then credit will be given in the “environment” component. (Para 34)

The ONLY allowable exceptions:

  • third-party rights couldn’t be obtained for material within to be made OA
  • the embargo period was above the maximum allowed, or the journal disallows deposit, but the venue was “the most appropriate” (Para 37)
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