HEFCE has produced requirements for the next REF exercise, REF 2021. These requirements include information on what can be submitted and the criteria it must meet to be eligible. The timeline for REF submission is:
Open Access criteria only relate, at this time, to journal articles and conference papers published with an ISSN. This does not mean that other research outputs are not eligible for REF submission but that they do not have to be made available through open access publishing.
To be considered as open access, anyone with an internet connection must be able to access, download and search within the full text of your research article without any cost to them.
From 1st April 2016 any research published as open access must have been deposited within an institutional open access repository up to 3 months after the publicaton date. This criteria applies to both the bibliographic record and the full text of the output.
From 1st April 2018 the REF2021 open access policy will require deposits to be made within 3 months of acceptance. A deposit exception has been agreed where this can not be met.
REF Submission Assessment Criteria
Each submission is assessed against three elements. The quality of outputs (e.g. are they an exhibition, performance or publication? Are they one star or three star publications?)The impact of outputs beyond academia, and the environment that supports the research. Assessments are conducted by expert panels, for each of the subject-based units of assessment. Panels are comprised of senior academics, international members and research users.