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STORE - Staffordshire Online Repository

Guidance for Authors

Click here for details of how to deposit your research in STORE and all the research support services offered by the library

REF (Research Excellence Framework) Update

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK's system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The next exercise will take place in 2021.

For further information about the REF please see our What is REF guide.

The policy will require outputs to be deposited as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after this date (as given in the acceptance letter or email from the publication to the author) from 1 April 2018.

Please use the following form to submit your research for STORE

What do I need to do to?

You will need to deposit your research in STORE (STaffordshire university Online REpository).

For Manuscripts please deposit the Author Accepted Manuscript on acceptance of your paper. Outputs that fail to meet the criteria of deposit within 3 months of acceptance cannot be submitted to the REF. If there is a genuine reason for non-deposit within this timescale, please refer to the exceptions guidance below and send the STORE team your exceptions statement with details of your deposit.

For all other research outputs please deposit the item in STORE as soon as possible after publication/creation.

There has been a bit of debate within the academic community about exactly which version this refers to because publishers often use their own terminology to describe it. Here is the official HEFCE diagram showing what they consider to be the version that can be entered into the next REF assessment:

Other terminology also used for the Authors final accepted version include:

  • Accepted Author Manuscript (AAM)
  • Accepted Work
  • Final Author Version (accepted manuscript)
  • Author Generated Postprint
  • Post-print
  • Author's Final Draft
  • Author's Final Peer-reviewed Manuscript
  • Final Peer-reviewed Draft
  • Accepted (peer-reviewed) Version

The above terms all refer to the version which we can accept into STORE, although it will then usually be subject to an embargo period before it becomes freely available. Embargo periods usually range between 6-24 months. The library will check this and then activate the article on your behalf.

There are a few Academic Journals, which do allow the Published (typeset) version to be stored but these are usually fully accessible Open Access Journals – we will inform you if this is the case.

Additionally there are few journals, which do not allow the Accepted version to be stored at all or impose an embargo which is too long to meet the REF criteria. You may wish to check before you submit your work to these journals as it is possible that HEFCE may not allow these articles to be entered into the next REF. Check at the JISC SHERPA service:

What can I upload?

The University has an Open Access mandate, which requests that staff and researchers upload a copy of their research into STORE. The version required is the ACCEPTED version (or Post-Print) -see below for more details.

There is more information about the University Open Access policy on our Open Access support guide.

N.B. Not all articles can be made publicly available straight away, if there is an embargo or copyright restrictions we will still upload the article but restrict access to University staff.

Versions and Permissions:

  • Most publishers allow the author’s SUBMITTED Version (Pre-Print) of the paper/article before peer review.
  • Most publishers also allow an author’s ACCEPTED Version (Post-Print), which is the version that incorporates referee comments, but often there is an OA embargo of between 6 and 24 months
  • Most publishers, however, will not allow the PUBLISHER created PDF versionto be uploaded. Even though the content will be the same as the ACCEPTED (Post-Print) version

SHERPA OA compliance tools

If Sherpa does not answer your copyright question please contact the Library Repository team at store @


Staffordshire University is committed to making all research at the university publicly available and searchable. Benefits of Open Access include:

  • Increased exposure of research via Google, RSS feeds and other search services.
  • Increased citation.
  • Digital preservation of scholarly output.
  • Increased funding opportunities where conditions require Open Access.
  • Enhances and promotes the growing body of free quality academic research.
  • Raising the research profile of Staffordshire University

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