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Open access

Open Access to research makes it easier for business and the voluntary and public sectors to access research findings. It can also enhance the wider public understanding of research and make the design and conduct of research easier. SFC encourages Open Access to the results of publicly funded research.

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SFC and the other UK funding bodies jointly run the UK Research Excellence Framework, a significant driver of sector practice in Open Access. An overview of policy and guidance for REF 2021 is available.

In August 2021, UKRI announced a single Open Access policy for publications arising from work they have supported.

Although the scope of an Open Access policy for any future national research assessment exercise is much broader than the UKRI Open Access policy, the UK funding bodies have jointly confirmed their intention that a UKRI OA-compliant publication will meet any future national research assessment Open Access policy without additional action from the author and/or institution. For further information see the
Jisc-hosted Future Research Assessment Programme website.

Until new policies come into force, institutions should continue to follow REF 2021 open access policies.