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The requirement to comply with the open access policy applies to the following outputs:

a. the output type is a journal article with an ISSN or the output is a conference contribution in proceedings with an ISSN, and

b. the date of acceptance of the output for publication is after 1 April 2016.

Any submitted output that fits both aspects of this definition is an 'in-scope' output.  In-scope outputs must fulfill the open access criteria to be eligible for submission.  The criteria consists of three elements:

a. Deposit requirements

b. Discovery requirements

c. Access requirements

The open access criteria can be summarised as follows:  the output must have been deposited in an institutional repository within three months of acceptance for publication.  The output must have been deposited as the author's accepted manuscript.  The output must be presented in a way that allows it to be discovered by readers and by automated tools such as search engines, and in a form that allows anyone with internet access to search electronically within the text, read it and download it without charge.

Tolerance of non-compliance

For each submission to a unit of assessment (UoA), units may submit a maximum of 5% non-compliant in-scope outputs.  Other than the 5% tolerance allowed, all in scope-outputs must fulfill the open access criteria, or have an applied exception.  Policy exceptions include:

a. deposit exceptions,

b. access exceptions,

c. technical exceptions,

d. further exceptions.

There will be no limit on the volume of exceptions to the policy for in-scope outputs submitted.  Use of exceptions will not affect the REF outcomes.