IS research support



Funders' Open Access policies

The HEFCE policy applies to all submissions for the REF. Depending on who funded your research, that funder may have additional Open Access requirements.

Always check your particular agreement with a funder to verify their requirements. Some common funders are outlined here:


HEFCE Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The HEFCE policy on open access applies to outputs accepted for publication from 1st April 2016 onwards. See how to comply with REF requirements.


Research Councils UK

According to RCUK's open access policy, you must make the final (ie accepted and peer-reviewed) version of your work available as open access if it:

  • is a peer-reviewed research article, review, or conference proceeding
  • and acknowledges Research Council funding
  • and was submitted to an academic journal from 1st April 2013 onwards

You must publish it on:

  • an academic journal website with no access charges under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license
  • or a subject or institutional repository, eg the Kent Academic Repository (KAR), under a licence without restrictions on non-commercial re-use

This must happen within:

  • 6 months of publication for biomedical disciplines
  • 12 months for STEM
  • 24 months for arts, humanities and social sciences


Horizon 2020 and European Research Councils

All peer reviewed publications resulting from Horizon 2020 and European Research Council funded projects must be made open access.

This means you must deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript or the publisher pdf in KAR or a subject repository as soon as possible. The latest date this can happen is upon publication.

You may restrict access to the full text by setting an embargo, but you must make the publication freely and publicly available via KAR:

  • on publication, if the publisher provides a free electronic version
  • or within:
    • 6 months of publication for STEM disciplines
    • 12 months for arts, humanities and social sciences

If your project is part of the Pilot on Open Research Data you:

  • should make your data “as open as possible and as restricted as necessary”
  • must provide a Research Data Management Plan within the first six months of the project

See Open access to publications and data in Horizon 2020: Frequently Asked Questions (pdf).



University of Kent

The University of Kent Open Access policy states that if you produced your work as part of your employment at Kent, you must make a record of it available in the Kent Academic Repository (KAR). The full text of the final version must also be available in KAR unless this is prevented by the copyright policy of your publisher. See also Kent's open access implementation strategy (.docx).

If you have successfully completed a research degree at Kent, you have to submit an electronic copy of your final PhD or MPhil thesis to KAR prior to the award of your degree.

To find Open Access policies for other funders use Sherpa Juliet.


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Last Updated: 04/01/2018