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REF exceptions


 

Research England have included a number of exceptions within their Policy for Open Access in the REF 2021. Full information about the exceptions can be viewed in the Overview of open access and policy guidance at 

https://ref.ac.uk/guidance/additional-guidance/

This REF document contains information about exceptions which can be applied to outputs that do not meet the OA requirements but have specific reasons for non compliance. If an exception can be applied, then the article can be submitted as REF OA compliant. There are 4 types of exception: Deposit, Access, Technical and Further which covers Other and Deposit within 3 months of publication. The word “exception” is Research England's terminology and relates to the fact that an exception can be applied rather than any comment on the article or journal title's merit.

The OA policy allows for a maximum 5% non OA compliant outputs or one non OA compliant output, whichever is higher, of in scope outputs to be submitted within each UoA. It is essential that all outputs submitted to the REF must either be REF OA compliant, have an appropriate and valid exception applied or fall within the 5% tolerance.  Evidence must also be obtained to verify these statuses as this can be requested within the REF audit.

The application of exceptions will be managed by the Research Information Manager (Open Access) in conjunction with the College REF Team and the UoA leads with information requested from authors as required. The exceptions will be applied to the REF2 records on Pure however the supporting evidence will be kept separately and securely. 

Deposit exceptions

Brief evidence needs to be provided by the academic member of staff to explain why the exception needs to be considered. For those staff wishing to claim the exception “Not employed by a UK HEI”, this will be corroborated via a request to the College HR staff / College REF Team and checking the affiliation on the article. 

Access exceptions

These relate to the publisher actively disallowing OA or requiring an embargo longer than the permitted maximum. Staff will be asked to provide a short statement explaining why the journal is the most appropriate title for the article.

Technical exceptions

For those staff who wish to claim the exception “individual was at a different UK HEI which failed to comply”, this will be corroborated via a request to the College HR staff / College REF Team and checking the affiliation on the article to provide confirmation that this is correct. A short statement from academic staff will be requested to confirm that they were affected by a short term issue with Pure or an external service provider.

Further exceptions

Other - Brief evidence needs to be provided by the academic member of staff to explain why the exception needs to be considered. Depending on the reason, this will be corroborated via a request to the College HR staff / College REF team to check the REF 6 Circumstances records to provide confirmation that this is correct. The UoA lead will be asked to provide a short statement of support of the use of the “Other” exception where it is not also recorded within REF 6. 

Deposited within 3 months of publication - these are applied automatically via Pure using the deposit dates of the Accepted Manuscripts and publication date or manually by the Research Support Team based on the information on the Pure record history and the article publication details. 

If the article is not REF OA compliant and there is no reason why an exception can be applied, the record will be marked as Non OA compliant. The UoA lead is responsible for deciding which outputs are submitted. 

Updated 9th July 2021

Contact us

Open Access:

openaccess@royalholloway.ac.uk

Pure:

pure@royalholloway.ac.uk

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