Checking your journal's policy

To make your articles open access you will need to know what your chosen journal will allow.

This includes provision for:

  • Embargo periods (is the journal embargo within the maximum stated by REF or your funder?)
  • Licences (e.g. is CC-BY allowed where an APC has been paid?)
  • What version of your article can be deposited (e.g. it is the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM, otherwise known as post-print) which is required for REF).

For REF 2021, Research England (formerly HEFCE) asks you to seriously consider your intended journal or conference publication venue if it exceeds the embargo length criteria (a maximum of 12 months for REF panels A and B, 24 months for panels C and D), or if it disallows open access deposit in a repository. If this may apply to you, please carefully consider any publication venues that might allow deposit within the rules by:

If you are unable to identify a satisfactory alternative you will need to register an exception for your publication in order to make it eligible for submission to REF. 


To help you determine if your journal accords with the requirements you are trying to meet you can use the following JISC services:

  • SHERPA/FACT (for research funded by UKRI and the health charities formerly grouped as COAF)
  • SHERPA/RoMEO (for publisher green open access policies)

Both UKRI and the former COAF health charities have clear requirements to be able to access funding for gold OA. It is important to check these requirements carefully if you are planning to access central funding available for these funders.

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