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Open Access

REF2021: claiming exceptions

Since the 1st of April 2016, it has been necessary to comply with UKRI's open access policy if you plan to submit journal articles (and conference proceedings with an ISSN) to the next REF. The policy is summarised on our REF2021 webpage and one page compliance document.

While failure to deposit the appropriate version within the time limit will render an output ineligible for submission to the next REF, UKRI recognise that their requirements may for various reasons not always be achievable. Consequently, in certain circumstances an output may be excepted from the open access requirements and still be submissible to REF2021.

For instance, as long as the exception is claimed, they will accept articles appearing in journals that do not permit deposit in repositories - as long as the author considers that journal the most appropriate publication for the output. Similarly, if the journal will permit deposit in a repository, but only after more time than UKRI consider acceptable (more than 12 months for STEM subjects; more than 24 months for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), it will also be possible to claim an exception for an output. Several other circumstances, both personal and technical, may prevent deposit within the time limit, or deposit at all, and UKRI have recognised many as exceptions.

Below are a summary of the exceptions that can be claimed to the open access portion of the policy for the next REF. They are ordered from those we expect to be most commonly used to those we expect to be used rarely. If you are not able to deposit as required and think one applies to you, it will be necessary to report it. Please click on the statement below that you believe applies to you and follow the instructions within to claim an exception for a given publication.

39b The publication concerned requires an embargo period that exceeds the stated maxima (12 months for STEM subjects; 24 months for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), and was the most appropriate publication for the output.

Please create a record for the publication in Pure, upload the Author's Accepted Manuscript version of your paper, and set the embargo period specified by the journal. Then fill in this exception form, including a statement to support the chosen journal as the most appropriate.

39c The publication concerned actively disallows open-access deposit in a repository, and was the most appropriate publication for the output.
Please create a record for it in Pure, attaching the Author's Accepted Manuscript version of your paper anyway and setting the "Public access to file" field for the paper to 'Closed'. Then fill in this exception form, including a statement to support the chosen journal as the most appropriate.
38b It was not possible for me to secure a copy of the Author's Accepted Manuscript version from the submitting author in time.

Please note that you are expected to take reasonable steps to secure the Author accepted manuscript version - e.g. contacting the first author and requesting a copy; checking the institutional repositories of other authors, checking subject repositories. Please see this page for guidance on securing author accepted manuscripts from other authors.

Create a Pure record for your article upon receipt of acceptance email as usual. Fill in this exception form.

38c I was not employed by a UK HEI at the time I submitted this output for publication.

If, for a given output, you became employed by a UK HEI after it was possible to comply with the REF2021 policy, but would like to submit it to the next REF, please create a record for it in Pure, uploading the Author's Accepted Manuscript version of your paper.

Additionally, please fill in this exception form – attaching evidence of your previous employment.

40a At the point of acceptance I was at a different UK HEI which failed to comply with the criteria.

If you have joined King’s having previously been employed by a UK HEI which did not comply with UKRI's policy for the next REF, then it will still be possible to submit any outputs from that period even though they did not adhere to the policy. First, please create a record for any such output in Pure, then upload the AMM of your paper.

Finally, please fill in this exception form – attaching evidence of your previous employment.

38d It would be unlawful to deposit, or request the deposit of, the output.

Create a Pure record for your article upon receipt of acceptance email as usual. Fill in this exception form, including supporting evidence of the potential unlawfulness of deposit.

38e Depositing the output would present a security risk.

Create a Pure record for your article upon receipt of acceptance email as usual. Fill in this exception form, including supporting evidence of the potential security risk of deposit.

39a The output depends on the reproduction of third party content for which open access rights could not be granted (either within the specified timescales, or at all).
Please create a record for the output in Pure, upload the Author's Accepted Manuscript version of your paper, and set "Public access to the file" for the paper to "Closed". Fill in this exception form.
38a Due to sickness, maternity or paternity leave, carer's leave or other equivalent circumstances, I was unable to secure the use of a repository at the point of acceptance.

Please fill in this exception form – please attach evidence of your leave, and if possible please attach the Author's Accepted Manuscript version. If within the time period, we will upload this on your behalf. If not your exception will be recorded.

40b The repository experienced a short-term or transient technical failure that prevented compliance with the criteria (this should not apply to systemic issues).

Contact puresupport@kcl.ac.uk if you are unable to access Pure. If the problem remains unresolved, please fill in this exception form – and please attach the Author's Accepted Manuscript version to the form.

40c A failure of an external service provider prevented compliance (for instance, a subject repository did not enable open access at the end of the embargo period, or a subject repository ceased to operate).

We recommend that all potential REF submission be uploaded to Pure within the timeframes required. Please contact openaccess@kcl.ac.uk if you have any related questions.

41 None of these exceptions apply to me, but I was legitimately unable to comply with the policy.

Even if none of the other exceptions apply, it may be possible in exceptional circumstances to claim an exception for a publication where the open access requirements were not met. If this is the case, please contact us at openaccess@kcl.ac.uk to discuss your circumstances or fill in this exception form.

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