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The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). The open access policy for REF 2021 states that to be eligible for submission, journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN must be open access. Results from the REF will be used by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to inform how they allocate their quality-related research funding to HEIs.

Do the open access requirements for REF 2021 continue post REF 2021?

Please continue to deposit your final accepted manuscripts even though the REF 2021 submission date for publications is now passed. Research England advise that the REF 2021 OA policy should be followed until further notice. Once further information about open access in the next REF is known, guidance here will be updated.  

The final, peer-reviewed accepted version of any journal article or a conference proceeding with an ISSN accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 must be uploaded to a repository.

St George’s Research Publications policy requires that the upload is made via the CRIS for our institutional repository, SORA. The image shows what is meant by the final, peer-reviewed accepted version.



Image: Research England Open access research FAQs (public domain for open reuse) 

How and when do I deposit?

Deposit your authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscript in CRIS for SORA. Please deposit it as soon as possible, but no later than three months from the date of acceptance. 


For further guidance, please login to your CRIS profile and click on the help tab at the top right-hand side.

For further information about St George’s submission to REF 2021 and contact details, please login in to access the page on REF2021.

Information on the results of REF 2014 is available at Results and submissions REF2014, St George’s: How we performed in REF 2014 and there is a searchable database of REF 2014 impact case studies available.


For all enquiries about CRIS and SORA, email the CRIS/SORA team.

For all enquiries about open access, email the open access team.

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