Open Access and the REF

What you need to do to make sure your work meets the requirements for the Research Excellence Framework.

The REF 2021 publication period closed on 31 December 2020. As a researcher, you should continue to comply with the requirements of the REF 2021 Open Access (OA) policy.

Research England will launch a consultation on the future REF OA policy following the outcome of the UKRI OA review.

The official REF 2021 Open Access policy (pdf) applies to journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN that have been accepted for publication after 1 April 2016.

To be eligible for the REF, you need to:

  • keep your Author Accepted Manuscript
  • note the date your publication was accepted
  • deposit your publication in the Kent Academic Repository (KAR) within a set period
  • carefully consider publisher embargo periods

What you need to do

REF Assisted Deposit service: we do your KAR entries for you

REF Assisted Deposit is a service for researchers. We’ll upload these publications to KAR for you:

  • journal articles
  • published conference papers

Please send your item as soon as possible after acceptance by the publisher.

Only recent publications can be added via this service. If you are a new member of staff and you wish to add your previous outputs to KAR, please see Ways to add records to KAR on the webpage. Please email if you need help importing publication details.

Send us your publication

Use this short online form

We need the post-peer-review version, also called author accepted manuscript.

What happens next

We'll prioritise requests by acceptance date. We may need to email you if we need any extra information that we can't get from the publisher website.

Gold Open Access

Papers published via the Gold Open Access route comply automatically, but you must still make a record of your article available in KAR.

No specific licence is mandatory.


Need research support or advice? Email

Find out all the ways you can get in touch.   

Research support links

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