Act on acceptance

From 1st April 2018 journal articles and conference proceedings must be deposited in the Kent Academic Repository (KAR) within 3 months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for inclusion in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

We can help you do this

Use our REF Assisted Deposit Service to send us your Author Accepted Manuscript.  We will add this to KAR for you and help you ensure that your article meets the Open Access requirements for the REF.

What’s the Authors Accepted Manuscript?

The Authors Accepted Manuscript is the final version of a publication that has been through the peer-review process and all editing has been completed. The AAM is the last version that you have before the publisher adds their formatting, layout or logos. See our Article Versions Explained guide for further explanation.

I already knew all this – what’s changed?

Since April 2016 HEFCE have required that articles and conference proceedings are deposited within three months of publication. They have always indicated that their intention is to change this deadline to within three months of acceptance for publication but have deferred this for the past two years.  Their aim is to make deposit in a repository a natural part of the journal writing process. Acceptance for publication is the time at which authors are most likely to have the Author Accepted Manuscript version of their article to hand.

At the University of Kent we have recommended from the beginning that authors deposit at the acceptance for publication stage.

Is there any flexibility?

HEFCE have stated that they will all allow universities to use an “Exception”. This will allow outputs unable to meet the three months from acceptance deposit timescale, to remain compliant if they are deposited up to three months after the date of publication.

The library research support team can apply this Exception to items in KAR. The exception reads: ‘The output was not deposited within three months of acceptance date, but was deposited within three months of the earliest date of publication.’ This exception should not be relied upon or used as a matter of routine, but it will remain in place for the rest of the REF 2021 publication period.

What if I use an Article Processing Charge?

If you choose to use an Article Processing Charge to make your article Open Access using the Gold Route, your article will meet HEFCE’s Open Access requirements. It must be made Open Access immediately upon publication.

Find out more

Find out more on the Open Access requirements for the REF webpage and use our Open Access glossary.

Help and advice


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