Open Access Success in our REF Submission

Our REF submission is in and 99.5% of qualifying outputs met the REF OA policy and are available to read on an Open Access basis.

Illustration of 0.5% of a whole
  Unsplash: "0.5PerCentofthePie" by Brett Jordan.

This pie represents all of our REF submission articles and papers that are available open access. The thin sliver represents the tiny amount that are not

For the first time, the Kent Academic Repository (KAR) has been used to manage the outputs section of the University’s REF submission and we were 99.5% compliant with the REF open access policy.  With the REF limit at 5% non-compliance, this means that none of our Units of Assessment were anywhere near the non-compliance limit. The REF and the University of Kent open access policies ask that either the version of record of an article or paper is available immediately to read, download and reuse, or the Author Accepted Manuscript is available within a maximum time of 24 months. This means that the vast majority of Kent research is available to other scholars worldwide to read, cite, build upon and develop collaborative relationships.

Scholars from almost every country have been reading Kent’s research with the majority of downloads being from the USA, the EU and China.  However, Kent researchers are reaching readers across Africa, South America and as far north as Greenland and as far south as Australia and New Zealand. Explore more of the international download statistics on the KAR dashboard.

Graph showing deposits in KAR from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2021
Graph showing deposits in KAR from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2021


None of this interest would be possible without our continuing success in maintaining deposits to KAR by researchers themselves, the REF Assisted Deposit Service and the IS Research Support team as a whole with essential support from the IS Metadata team.  Accurate, timely and full records of researcher works are crucial in helping us meet this target for the REF submission.


KAR will continue to act as a source of accurate bibliographic data and a means to demonstrate the Kent commitment to Open Access in line with funder and community culture, for instance, engagement with Plan S.  Open Access policies are here to stay and for the next REF may expand to cover other output formats (data, books or book chapters).  With the support of our colleagues, we will be focusing on increasing full-text and open access deposit and on making the deposit process easier and quicker for researchers.

Contact if you have any questions about open access or KAR.

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