Complying With HEFCE's Open Access Policy: What You Need To Know

May 2, 2016 Helen Eassom

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Most researchers working in the UK will know that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) open access policy took effect from April 1st of this year, but what does that mean for you, and how can you make sure you are fully compliant?

What is the HEFCE open access policy?

Around £1.7 billion of public money is allocated for research through the Research Excellence Framework (REF) each year, and HEFCE believe that the outputs of this funding should be as widely available as possible. This is why, after extensive consultation, the four higher education funding authorities that make up HEFCE have introduced an open access requirement in the next REF. In order to be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors must deposit their final peer-reviewed manuscript in an institutional or subject repository. All material deposited should be discoverable, and free to read and download, by anyone.

The HEFCE policy should mean that research findings are disseminated as widely as available channels allow. The consensus is that the new policy will bring huge benefits to the efficiency of the scientific research process and increase public understanding of, and interest in, research output.

The policy applies to all journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) accepted for publication after April 1st 2016. If you’ve published monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data, then the HEFCE policy doesn’t apply. Authors can comply with the policy via the Green or Gold open access route. When publishing via the Green open access route, the only basic policy requirement is that papers are deposited in a repository. If publishing via Gold open access, it isn’t a requirement of the policy that papers are deposited, although this is encouraged by HEFCE.

Are Wiley journals compliant?
In short, yes, Wiley journals are fully compliant with the HEFCE policy. Authors can choose to publish their papers via the Green open access route, by publishing in a subscription journal and self-archiving their paper, or making their article open access by publishing OnlineOpen. Alternatively, they can publish in one of Wiley’s Gold open access journals; both routes allow authors to fully comply with the HEFCE and REF requirements.

The accepted (peer-reviewed) version of an article can be deposited into repositories upon acceptance, but access to the article will be subject to an embargo period (12 months for STM journals, 24 months for social science and humanities journals). This doesn’t affect compliance with HEFCE- authors can still deposit the full text of the accepted version of their article in a repository within 3 months of publication, with restricted access. Following the end of the embargo period, the full-text of the article must then be made open access in order to comply with the policy.

HEFCE screen shot.pngIf you’d like more information on Wiley’s self-archiving policy, take a look at our self-archiving pages on Wiley Online Library.

How can I check if a journal is compliant?
Want to publish in a journal but not sure whether it’s compliant with the REF requirements? You can use the SHERPA REF tool to check compliance quickly and easily. Enter either the name of the journal or the ISSN and click ‘Check’ and the tool will tell you if your journal is compliant, as well as listing the requirements you must satisfy to meet the open access requirements for REF.

1st Image source: Westend61/Getty Images

2nd Image source: HEFCE



About the Author

Helen Eassom

Author Marketing, Wiley // Helen is a Marketing Coordinator working within the Author Marketing team for Wiley's Global Research division.

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