KAR and REF2021: what you need to know

The revised guidelines for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) were released on Tuesday (21st) – they can be read in full at http://www.ref.ac.uk/news/2017/decisionsonstaffandoutputs.html.

This is a brief guide on the implications for your research outputs and how Research Support IS can help you ensure that your research is eligible for inclusion in REF2021.


Headline changes for academic staff

  1. The average number of submitted outputs will be 2.5 per FTE, with a minimum of one and a maximum of five publications for each staff member submitted.
  2. ORCIDs are “strongly encouraged” and will likely be a requirement for future exercises. Find out how to register for an ORCID here
  3. HEFCE are implementing a transitional approach to portability. Both the institution employing the staff member on the census date—31 July 2020—and the originating institution, where the staff member was previously employed when the output was demonstrably generated, may submit the output.
    1. ‘demonstrably generated’ will be determined by the date when the output was first made publicly available
  4. As anticipated, journal articles and conference items are “to be deposited in an academic repository “as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date”, from 1 April 2018.
    If there are barriers to meeting this requirement prior to publication it is vital that your paper is up as soon as possible after publication – please get in touch with the research support team to discuss as early as possible. 

For further interpretation you can find the Research Professional summary here.


Support for Open Access at Kent

The REF Assisted Deposit service is available to add journal articles and conference items on your behalf ensuring that HEFCE requirements and copyright policies are adhered to. Alternatively log in to KAR at https://kar.kent.ac.uk/ with your staff username and password. The KAR user guide can be accessed here, or contact us for a one-to-one training session.



If you have any queries around output compliance or KAR please get in contact (researchsupport@kent.ac.uk).  For any enquiries relating to REF Impact or environment please contact Betty Woessner in the Research Excellence team (Contact information).