Picture the scene… it’s 2016 the 1st April 2016 to be precise and you’ve had an article you have been working on for the past 6 months accepted by your first choice journal – well done you – you spend the next 3 months eagerly waiting to read your hard work in print. When it finally it is published you are ecstatic, it is well  received by your colleagues, peers, journalists and the public – your research is out there and making a real impact to society, you couldn’t have imagined a better reception. Well done you again!

Now fast-forward to submission of the next REF where you enthusiastically submit your lovingly crafted, well received, well cited article for submission with the full expectation that it will certainly be assessed as a 4* publication but then the bomb drops… the article is “UNCLASSIFIED”. Why I hear you cry?! Well back in 2016 when your article was accepted you did not make it open access – simple.

HEFCEs decision on non-compliance of their Open Access Policy really couldn’t be clearer in this aspect:

“Any output submitted to the post-2014 REF that falls within the scope of this policy but does not meet its requirements or exceptions will be treated as non-compliant. Non-compliant outputs will be given an unclassified score and will not be assessed in the REF.”

We have 12 months to get ready for to comply with HEFCEs Open Access policy and we have to start now. Only the author and the publisher know when an article is accepted and this is the key point for the policy. So, if you want to have the full benefit of all your hard work, then make sure that when an article is accepted by a publisher you upload it to BRIAN – simple.

For further information on how to you go about making your outputs open access, please see the guidance here. Email openaccess@bournemouth.ac.uk with queries or attend one of our Open Access Workshops over the next few months.

Further information on HEFCEs policy can be found here