skip to content

This table sets out the output types for REF-category 'digital atefacts', including a broad definition and examples, which are provided for guidance only and do not represent a definitive list.

Output type REF eligible? In scope of the Open Access Policy?


Originally researched, created and published software (computer programs and their associated documentation, consisting of a set of instructions written by a programmer) or database products of commercial quality, which has been made publicly available.

Operating systems Y N
Utilities Y N
Application programs Y N
interactive multimedia Y N
Video games Y N
Logic systems Y N

Website content

A collection of material which embodies research and is undertaken on a systematic basis specifically for dissemination through a website and/or as an interactive approach to allow users to engage directly with the process or products of the research.

Textual, visual, or aural content encountered as part of the user experience on websites, including text, images, sounds, videos and animations (among other things) Y N
Factual information, analysis or data, or fictional, imaginative and/or creative work, using pictorial, video, audio, etc. Y N

Digital or visual media

Research outputs presented in digitised and/or audio-visual format.

Films Y N
Documentaries Y N
Audio-visual presentations Y N
Computer games Y N
Animation Y N

Research datasets and databases

May be in a variety of formats, for instance in spreadsheet, but also any collection of data on which analysis can be performed.

Datasets:  the contents of a single database table, or a statistical data matrix, where every column of the table represents a particular variable, where every column of the table represents a particular variable, and each row corresponds to a given member of the dataset. Y N
Databases:  Collections of data specifically organised and presented for the ease of wieving, retrieval and analysis.  May comprise multiple datasets. Y N