A key feature of the REF Open Access policy is that papers must be deposited in RIS within three months of acceptance for publication. We therefore need to record the date of acceptance in RIS for every journal articles (or serial conference proceedings paper) so that we can prove this was done. For many papers, the date of acceptance is displayed on the publisher site or PDF. For some journals however it is not easy to determine what qualifies as the “date of acceptance”, particularly if an article has been requested or the route to publication is not straightforward.
The REF Draft Guidance available now has this to say about dates of acceptance:
‘Date of acceptance’ means the date given in the acceptance letter or email from
the publisher to the author as the ‘firm’ accepted date.
They go on to clarify:
Outputs that are published by a journal or conference proceedings which does not require peer review are within the scope of this policy. In this instance, the author’s final accepted version must be deposited. The date of acceptance in this instance should be taken as the date that the publisher confirms that the article has been received from the author and will subsequently be published.
If you are still unsure what counts as the date of acceptance, please get in touch with the Library Research Support Team and we can advise.