The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

  • The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)* has introduced a policy for open access in relation to research assessments after the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). 
  • To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, research outputs must be made open access via either the green or gold route. 
  • Gold open access articles must be made publicly available via an institutional or subject repository.
  • For those following the green route, an author's accepted manuscript (AM) must be deposited as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date. 
  • Bibliographic metadata for the article must be discoverable immediately, and the full-text must be discoverable after an embargo period.
  • The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016. However, we recognize that some researchers may wish to comply with HEFCE's policy with immediate effect and are able to do so as follows:

Gold open access 

  • Authors can publish their article open access in an open access journal or in one of our hybrid journals, which offers a gold open access option. 
  • To choose the gold open access option an article publishing charge (APC) is payable. Elsevier's fees range from 500 – 5000 US Dollars. Visit the individual journal homepages for specific open access pricing information.
  • To help UK authors, Elsevier and JISC Collections have developed a pre-paid plan with some participating universities.  See eligible institutions for the prepaid plan
  • After publication, authors can comply by self-archiving the final published article in their institutional repository or in a subject repository.

Green open access

  • For UK authors, who wish to self-archive their accepted manuscript to comply with HEFCE policy, the following steps apply:
    • Authors need to keep a copy of their manuscript, which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the peer review process (also called an accepted manuscript or AM).
    • Attach a CC-BY-NC-ND user license to the AM version
    • Post this version on their institutional repository for public access after a journal-specific embargo period has expired.
    • Authors should add a link back to the final version of the article hosted on ScienceDirect.
  • To choose this option there are no fees for the author.
  • See list of HEFCE applicable embargo periods

Help and Support

* This policy was developed and released by the following four UK HE funding bodies