Versions and REF compliance – why is it important?

Since April 2016, it has been a requirement for Journal Articles and some Conference items to be Open Access if they are going to be submitted to the REF. Full details about the finer details of these requirements and how they affect you are available on our website, and a recent blog post outlining how we are doing is also available.

Today’s blog highlights one of the most common problems we deal with when we look at KAR, and that is Versions.

What version do you need to upload?

Unless you have published in an Open Access Journal, or paid an APC to make your work Open Access, the version of the article that needs to be uploaded to KAR must be the Author Accepted Manuscript.

The simplest way to describe the accepted manuscript is to consider the publishing process, as shown in the diagram below. This shows that the accepted version is the last copy that was edited by one of the authors, before copyright is transferred to the publisher. This is either by you signing a transfer of copyright form, or by the publisher beginning to place their own copyrighted material onto it, such as logos and typesetting.

This final accepted version can be uploaded to KAR as a word document or a pdf, although a pdf is preferred.

When you upload your document, make sure that you tell us which version it is! On the Upload page in KAR (see below), there is a section that asks you to choose from a drop down box that tells us which version you have uploaded.

This may sound trivial, but just doing this one extra thing can save everyone time in the long run. If this field is not completed, the tool we use to generate reports will read your item as non compliant, as it can’t see whether it is a compliant with the rules HEFCE have set down. While we do our best to check items as they come in, remembering to make this one small extra step can save a lot of stress and worry.

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