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Open Access: OA and REF

Information Services and Library Team, London Business School.

Get ready for REF

HEFCE now has an open access mandate for research accepted for publication on or after 1st April 2016. This includes journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN. See our FAQS for more on book chapters.

To be eligible for submission to the next REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed (author-accepted) manuscripts must be deposited in LBS Research Online as soon after the date of acceptance as possible and no later than three months after this date, as given in the acceptance letter or e-mail from the publication to author. 

Embargo period.
Publishers frequently impose a delay before open access repositories can make manuscripts freely available. Under HEFCEs policy, the maximum permitted embargos are 12 months (Panels A and B) and 24 months (Panels C and D). LBS research outputs would fall into panel C. 

Check the journal publisher's copyright policy. 
For REF materials -  before you publish in a journal, check the journal publisher's copyright policy through SHERPA/ROMEO. If the embargo period is too restrictive you may wish to pay an Article Processing Charge (the Gold route) to the publisher to allow the deposit of a manuscript; otherwise your research output is marked as an 'exception' in terms of the REF.

HEFCE also require institutions to develop an internal open access policy. The implementation of this policy will not affect where Faculty publish.

Read HEFCE's Policy for Open Access for 2021 REF

Compliance tools

  SHERPA/FACT - Funders & Authors Compliance Tool

  SHERPA/ROMEO - Publishers’ copyright policies & self archiving

  SHERPA/JULIET - Research funders' open access policies

Authors' Information - your copyright

Copyright holders control the right to allow open access publication and retain the right to be acknowledged. You as an author are encouraged to seek a licence of copyright with a journal publisher rather than fully assigning copyright to a publisher. You can amend your agreement with the publisher before signing, by either:

For more templates and further guidance, see Authors' Rights: Author Addenda and Retaining Key Rights.

What type of licence do I need?  

Submitting your work to REF?
HEFCE encourages authors to use a CC-BY or CC-BY-NC licence - with credit potentially going to the School in the next REF submission.

Funded by ESRC or RCUK?
You must make your research available under a CC-BY licence.

CC-BY: The text of an article can be reused and reproduced in any way, including for commercial purposes, provided there is appropriate author attribution;

CC-BY-NC: As above but this licence restricts use to non-commercial purposes;

CC-BY-NC-ND: The text of an article can be used only in its original form and must have appropriate author attribution.

Find out more about CC licences and how to choose the correct licence for your work at Creative Commons.

Funders' requirements

For your work to comply with funder's requirements AND be eligible for the next REF, you must:

  • Acknowledge institutional affiliation to London Business School in a standard format in your publications.
  • Acknowledge sources of funding in your research outputs including grant numbers where applicable.
  • Indicate where underlying research data - such as data or models - can be accessed by including a short Data Access Statement; "contact the authors" is not sufficient.
  • Ensure third parties to the School’s research entering into a collaboration agreement, are aware of the School's policy on open access and its requirements before research starts.
  • Take into account funder requirements to use specific Creative Commons licences by applying the most open form of licence which is appropriate to your work to allow re-use.

Researchers receiving funding from any grant-making body are expected to make their work open access. For more information on the particular OA requirements set by your research funder including RCUK and the European Commission, see the excellent guide to funders produced by Open Access at Oxford (OAO)

Act on Acceptance

Act on Acceptance

Research papers should be deposited within 3 months of the date of acceptance for publication as confirmed in a letter or email from your publisher.

  • Ensure that your manuscript is uploaded to LBS Research Online as soon as possible after date of acceptance.
  • Please forward the acceptance email along with a copy of your manuscript to:

For assistance:

Publishing terms/definitions

LBS Research Online

LBS Research Online is the London Business School institutional repository containing research produced by our faculty published as journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and books, covering all business topics.