Library Services


REF: what do I need to do?

UCL researchers must record their publications in RPS, and upload their final accepted manuscripts, in order to meet REF open access requirements. A quick guide to uploading is included on this page.

Upload your manuscript to RPS

What do I need to do? 

You should record your article or conference paper in UCL's Research Publications Service (RPS), and upload your final accepted manuscript to the RPS record on or before the first online publication date. The final upload deadline for REF is 3 months after online publication, however other funders (e.g. UKRI, Wellcome) require open access immediately upon publication. The policy does not apply to books, chapters, unpublished journal pre-prints, conference abstracts or posters.  

Once you have claimed a paper in RPS (i.e. it is included in your list of publications), you should upload your final accepted manuscript. If you don't have a copy, email the corresponding author or journal to obtain it. RPS will send you regular reminders until it is uploaded. It is important to claim your papers and upload the manuscript as soon as you can. 

The final accepted manuscript means the final author version after peer review, but before the publisher's typesetting or copy-editing. This is often a Word document. 

If your paper is published as Gold open access on the publisher's website, immediately upon publication, and under a licence that permits copying and reuse, you do not need to upload it to RPS. The paper complies with the REF policy. Most Gold open access papers are published under a Creative Commons (CC) licence, which meets these requirements.

What happens after I upload?

UCL's Open Access Team:

  • Reviews your file to confirm that the version is correct.
  • Checks your journal's/proceedings' copyright policy and applies any required embargo on making the manuscript open access in UCL's repository, UCL Discovery.
  • Ensures that manuscripts are not made open access if the journal does not permit it.

Quick guide to uploading in RPS

There is a quick guide to uploading your publications below. Guides to maintaining your publications in RPS are also available. A record must already exist in RPS before you can upload your manuscript to it. If the publication is not listed on your publications page, then you will need to add it.

Adding a record in RPS 

  • Log in to RPS using your UCL username and password.
  • If your publication doesn't appear in your publications list, click ‘Menu’ at the top, then ‘Publications’, then ‘Add a new publication’ and choose the relevant type (e.g. ‘Add a new journal article’).
  • Search for your publication’s title or DOI. RPS will retrieve a record from another database if available – if so claim it, then skip to the ‘Upload your manuscript’ header below. 
  • If a record is not found, go to the next step and complete the mandatory fields to create a manual record. 

Upload your manuscript

  • Locate the record in your publications list or look for the ‘Deposit publications’ prompt on your RPS home page.
  • Click and open the record for the publication in question.
  • Select the ‘Deposit’ button on the right under the ‘Full text’ header. 
  • Click ‘Choose file’ and navigate to copy of your final accepted manuscript.
  • Select the file version. In most cases this will be ‘accepted version’.
  • Click ‘upload’ then ‘Deposit my publication’.

Papers in arXiv and other preprint servers

Preprints of published papers hosted on preprint servers do not satisfy the REF requirements. The submitted version prior to acceptance and before peer review should not be uploaded to RPS. However, where a version identical to the accepted manuscript/final version was uploaded to a preprint server before first online publication, the paper can be treated as compliant with the REF open access policy under a special provision in the policy. Some preprint servers do not allow authors to upload their final accepted manuscripts.