REF and UCA Research Online: a reminder!

It does not matter how good your research article is, if it is not Open Access, it is not eligible for REF!

Open Access is the free, unrestricted online access to research, and is now a national requirement for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The key points:

Journal articles must be uploaded to UCA Research Online within 3 months of their acceptance date (not the publication date) in order to be eligible for REF. This version must be your accepted manuscript (not the publisher’s PDF).

All other research outputs should be uploaded to UCA Research Online (such as book chapters you have authored, exhibitions of your work) as UCA may get extra credit at REF for providing Open Access to all types of research outputs.

Making your work Open Access will also benefit you as a researcher – it helps to raise your research profile, with studies showing increased citation rates.


As soon as you are notified that an article has been accepted for publication, upload it to UCA Research Online.

How can I add my research outputs?

Login with your UCA username/password at

There is a how-to video at

Contact us

Contact us at

Staff in Library & Student Services can help you on uploading your research, adhering to the policy and any rules from publishers.

To view the REF Open Access policy in full, see:

Awarding ‘Extra Points’

As I mentioned in my previous post HEFCE intends to give ‘extra REF points’ to the institutions which publish outputs other than journal articles and conference proceedings on the open access basis. I had a conversation with Amy Robinson, Repository Manager at UCA and our initial thoughts are that we generally agree with HEFCE’s proposition as long as the extra points are awarded to all types of research outputs submitted to REF, including non text based outputs.  If the extra points only apply to text-based outputs, such as monographs, this will unfairly disadvantage specialist arts institutions and will marginalize and disincentive open access. 54% of UCA’s outputs in the last REF were practice-based outputs!

We also support the proposal because the existing REF Open Access requirement in relation to journal articles and conference papers has complicated UCA’s internal advocacy for Open Access for all types of outputs and caused confusion to researchers.  We need to provide a clear, simple and consistent message to our researchers that values Open Access to all of their research.

There needs to be a very clear guidance about what constitutes ‘Open Access’ for non text based outputs, and REF could provide some useful clarification on this, e.g. the need for visual documentation, and not just metadata.

Monographs and Open Access

We said in our previous blog that monographs and other long-form research outputs need not be available in an open-access form to be eligible for REF 2021 submission. However, it seems like we will be moving towards open-access requirement for monographs in the following REF (REF 2028?). HEFCE has flagged this intention in the consultation document (Annex C).





Open Access and REF 2021

One of the key aspects of assessing research outputs submitted to REF 2021 will be availability of ALL journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication from 1 April 2016 in the open access form (UCA Research Online). Although this rule does not apply to monographs and other types of outputs ( exhibitions, performances, design work, etc.), HEFCE is intending to give ‘extra points’ to institutions which publish such outputs  on the open access basis, and where the work is presented in a format which can be re-used.

In order to award the ‘extra points’ HEFCE proposes that institutions provide a statement about their Open Access Strategy, supported by the data on the open access outputs and the type of licencing. As part of the REF consultation (paragraph 116) HEFCE seeks the sector’s views on awarding additional credit for open access.


Open Access Monographs – more questions than answers?

The last of our OA Week 2016 blogs is a brief look into the topic of Open Access Monographs. This is quite a contentious issue and there are currently a number of projects looking into how monographs can be made open access. Many of the questions surrounding OA monographs are concerned with how the monograph […]

via Open Access Monographs – more questions than answers? — RADAR, Open Access and Research Data Management

Ensure your research is eligible for REF 2021

Deposit now in UCA Research Online (UCARO) and be REF2021 ready

UCA has a policy that all staff research outputs are recorded in UCARO, as well as PhD student theses. For further details, see the UCA Research Online Policies.

How to deposit your research outputs