quality-686329_1280What is REF 2021?

Research Excellence Framework, or REF for short, is the name given to the process of assessing the quality of research carried out in UK HEIs.

Why is REF 2021 important to Edinburgh Napier University?

If the quality of research produced at the university is not of a high enough standard, it will affect the academic reputation of the university and future funding.

 How do I comply with the open access requirements of REF 2021?

What is a ‘closed deposit’?

  • To comply with your publisher and/or funder embargoes, deposit your work in the research repository as closed access for a specific period of time.
  • The period of closed access must comply with REF 2021 embargo rules or the work will not be eligible for REF 2021.
  • When the closed access period expires, the work becomes open access.

What is ‘evidence of acceptance’?

It’s proof your research has been accepted for publication. You must send this evidence of the date your work was accepted for publication to If you don’t, your research may not be eligible for the next REF.

Is there a deadline to deposit my work in the Repository when it’s accepted for publication?

Yes and it’s very important you deposit your research as soon as your work is accepted for publication. The rule allows 3 months to deposit in the research repository but if you miss the deadline, your research will not be eligible for REF 2021.

When does this new open access rule come into force?

All journal articles and conference papers with an ISSN published after 1st April 2016 must be open access. Work published before this date and deposited in the University’s research repository is also eligible for REF 2021 and could make a real difference to the results.