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Repository changes for post-2014 REF

August 7, 2015

A couple of changes have recently been made to the repository software, to ensure that Middlesex University can comply with HEFCE/RCUK reporting requirements for the post-2014 REF, maximising the University’s potential access to government research funding.

HEFCE favours open access to all research, but currently has specific rules relating only to two forms of research output – journal articles, and conference proceedings published with ISSNs.

The rule for these is that on acceptance by the publisher, the accepted version must be deposited in a repository (green open access), unless the final published version is to be made freely available to all on the publisher’s website, with no charge to the user (gold open access).

The accepted version is the final, post-peer review corrected version sent by the author to the journal/publisher, without the layout and design features the publisher will add before publication.

“On acceptance” is defined as within 90 days of acceptance.

To ensure that we are complying with these rules it is necessary to record the date of acceptance for journal and conference papers in the repository, so this has been added to the record creation form as a compulsory field for these item types. It is not required for any other item type. The deposit date is recorded automatically. The rules do not come into full force until 1st April 2017, but earlier compliance is likely to be favourably regarded in the next REF assessment, and the reason for the delayed introduction is to allow institutions to adapt to the rules.

Entering dates of acceptance should be manageable if people deposit their accepted versions of their papers soon after being notified of acceptance while the date is readily at hand, so that is the practise the University would like to encourage. When authors are uploading papers accepted some time ago and no longer have a record of the accepted date, they are asked to make the best estimate they can of the accepted date.

Gold open access usually requires the payment of a fee to the publisher in lieu of sales income, known as an article processing charge (APC). The acceptance date rule does not apply to these, but due to the high cost of APCs, this will be a limited option.

The repository also has a new compulsory field for all item types called Copyright legal statement, which requires the selection of one of three statements about copyright when uploading a full text or other media file to the repository:

• I have permission to place this work on open access immediately from all rights holders
• I have permission to place this work on open access with an embargo
• I do not have permission to place this work on open access / don’t know

This will enable repository staff to place works on open access immediately without further checking in cases where the authors know they have permission, or to carry out appropriate checks if authors know there is an embargo, or don’t know whether they have permission or not.

We hope authors will not find these features too onerous, and feedback is always welcome.

Aran Lewis, Repository Manager

eprints[at]mdx.ac.uk

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