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This table sets out the output types for REF-category 'journal articles', 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?

Journal Article

A scholarly paper, usually on a specific topic, published in an externally circulated scholarly or professional journal that has an ISSN.

Full research articles Y Yes, if accepted for publication on or after 1 April 2016
Critical scholarly texts which appear in article form Y "
Review articles, where these meet the definition of research for the REF* Y "
Evidence syntesis, including systematic reviews, analyses, meta-analyses, meta-syntheses, where these meet the definitoin of research for the REF* Y "
Rapid communication (short papers, usually published swiftly in scholarly journals presenting original material) Y "
Discussion paper (short articles in scholarly journals that critically address specific results or data provided in a published research paper) Y "
Creative articles, including photographic essays Y "
Outputs published by a journal that DO NOT REQUIRE PEER-REVEW Y "

Conference contribution

A conference paper or other contribution published in conference proceedings.  

Paper in volume of proceedings Y Yes, if accepted for publication on or after 1 April 2016
Paper in special or normal edition of a journal Y "
Paper in book or a monograph Y N
Paper on a website Y N
Oher conference contributions which meet the REF definition of research Y N
Outputs published by conference proceedings THAT DO NOT REQUIRE PEER REVIEW Y Yes, if accepted for publication on or after 1 April 2016

Working paper

Research papers disseminated to encourage discussion and suggestions for revision.  This may be through pre-print dissemination, lodging in an institutional repository or self-publication for distribution.

Working papers submitted to preprint services that ARE NOT the version ‘as accepted for publication’ and have not been formally published by a journal Y N

* Definition of research for the REF

For the purposes of the REF, research is defined as a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared.

It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, culture, society, and to the public and voluntary sectors; scholarship; the invention and generation of ideas, images, performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights; and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction.  It includes research that is published, disseminated or made publicly available in the form of assessable research outputs, and confidential reports (any item produced for and lodged, in the publication period, with a company, government body or other research sponsor(s), but which has not been published because of its commercial or other sensitivity).

It excludes routine testing and routine analysis of materials, components and processes such as for the maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It also excludes the development of teaching materials that do not embody original research.