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Each Unit of Assessment will need to submit a section on “open research”, detailing the submitting unit’s open access strategy, including where this goes above and beyond the REF open access policy requirements, and wider activity to encourage the effective sharing and managment of research data.

To assist us in meeting this criteria, please ensure that all research outputs that are accepted for publication are uploaded to NECTAR as soon as they have been accepted

Note – copyright will be checked, and all publisher’s policies will be respected. What can be made open, will be!

Note – by depositing your work in NECTAR this does not make your work automatically open access.

If you have any questions about embargo periods or credibility of journals that you are looking to publish in please email

Open Access Requirements for all journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication from the 1st of April 2016 are:

Deposit – within 3 months of acceptance

Embargo Periods – 12 months – Panel A and B (STEM), 24 Months Panel C and D




The NECTAR journey: from acceptance to compliance

The University’s new Open Access policy – driven by HEFCE requirements for the post-2014 REF – has a simple message at heart for publishing researchers: act on acceptance. In practice, this means timely deposit of items in NECTAR, and we’ve made a few changes to help with this. This post takes a look at the NECTAR workflow, from acceptance to publication.

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Important: new open access policy for the University

At last week’s meeting of the University’s Research and Enterprise Committee, members approved a new open access policy for the University.  Aligned with, and supporting, HEFCE’s open access policy for the REF, the University policy states:

The University supports the principle of open access and expects researchers to share their research outputs freely, subject to legal, ethical, commercial or contractual constraints.

From 1st April 2016:
• All researchers will record bibliographic details of their research outputs in NECTAR within three months of the date of acceptance for publication, presentation or other dissemination in the public arena.
• The authors of journal articles and conference proceedings will upload the accepted full text copies of their work to NECTAR within three months of acceptance for publication.
• The full content of other research outputs should be deposited In NECTAR as soon as possible.
• All full content will be made openly available immediately or following the expiry of an agreed embargo period.

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Open access and your published paper: a guide for authors

FAQ: I have just had an article accepted for publication and I’m unsure of my open access options.  What should I do?

With multiple publishing options and a host of sometimes conflicting institutional, funder and publisher requirements, the pathway to open access can sometimes be a confusing one.  The guide below is designed to help you navigate the route between having your article accepted for publication and making it open access in an appropriate and timely manner.

The guide covers both ‘green’ and ‘gold’ routes to open access and includes the University’s procedure for handling article processing charges (APCs).

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Meeting funders’ open access requirements – your views needed

NorthUni277Would you like to be submitted to the next REF?

Are you likely to bid for Research Council funding?

If the answer to either of those questions is ‘Yes’ then you may already know that you will be expected to publish your research articles, and maybe even your data, in an ‘open access’ manner (HEFCE, RCUK) .

But do you know how to go about doing this? Do you have any concerns about it? Do you need any help?

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HEFCE announce new policy for open access in post 2014 REF

hefce80Following on from their two stage consultation process last year, HEFCE have just announced their new policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework.

The policy applies to all journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but not to monographs, other long-form publications, creative or non-text outputs, or data.

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HEFCE consultation on open access and REF post 2014 – 2nd stage

Continuing the two stage consultation process announced earlier this year, HEFCE has just announced a further consultation on its proposals for open access to post-2014 REF outputs.

The University of Northampton’s response to the first (informal) stage of the consultation is here.

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University response to HEFCE consultation on open access and the REF post 2014

hefce80The university has responded to HEFCE’s first consultation on open access and research assessment post 2014.

In support of their objective of increasing the proportion of research outputs that are made available in open access form, HEFCE’s proposals centred on the requirement that all research outputs submitted to future assessment exercises should be made open access as soon as possible after publication:

To support and encourage the further implementation of open access we intend to introduce a requirement that all outputs submitted to the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise are published on an open-access basis, where this is reasonably achievable and where, given the medium in which the output is presented, the concept of ‘open access’ applies.” (HEFCE, 2013, para 8)

HEFCE requested responses focused on several key issues, as follows: Read the rest of this entry

HEFCE consultation on open access and submissions to the REF post 2014

hefce80In July 2012 HEFCE announced that it would consult with the HE sector on how to ensure the widest possible access to research outputs submitted to post 2014 REF exercises.

The first step of the planned two-stage consultation process is a letter inviting institutions and individuals to comment and advise on the consultation proposals.  Broadly speaking, these cover:

  • Funding body expectations for open access in post 2014 REF
  • The role of institutional repositories
  • Embargoes and licences
  • Exceptions
  • Monograph publications
  • Open data

The University of Northampton Research and Enterprise Committee will be sending a response to HEFCE and welcomes your input to this.  Please leave a comment below or email Miggie Pickton with your response.

HEFCE’s deadline for responses is 25 March 2013 so your input by 18 March 2013 would be appreciated.  Thank you.