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Open Access at Aston: FAQ- REF 2021

REF 2021 Questions

What is the open access requirement for REF 2021?

To be eligible for REF 2021, you must deposit the accepted manuscript of all journal articles and conference proceedings in Pure within three months of acceptance. This is also Aston University's Open Access Policy. 


I wasn't employed at Aston when my article was accepted. Can I still submit it for REF?

We may be able to apply an exception to your publication so that it is still eligible. Please contact us to discuss this further. 


My article was published in an open access journal. Do I still need to deposit it?

Yes, you should still deposit your article in Aston Publications Explorer via Pure. 


I deposited my article in arXiv. Is this version okay for the REF open access requirement?

Yes, guidance published in July 2018 has confirmed that articles deposited in a preprint server are compliant as long as the deposited version closely matches the accepted manuscript and it was deposited before the article was published in its final form.


My article wasn't peer-reviewed. Does the OA policy still apply?

Yes, all conference proceedings and journal outputs accepted after April 1, 2016 are within scope of the REF open access policy.


Do I still have to deposit my publications if I am going on sabbatical?  

Yes, you are still responsible for your REF compliance even while you are on sabbatical unless there are extenuating circumstances. Please contact us to discuss this further.