Information for Managers and Administrators

‌Compliance Reports

The Open Access team supports compliance reports for Research Excellence Framework (REF) Open Access requirements. The reports are provided through the University's QlikView reporting tool.  Access to the reports is restricted to certain people within each College/School and training on using the reports is provided by the library.

Regular drop-in sessions are held to invite suggestions for the content and format of the reports and to dicsuss compliance more generally.  The next session will be held in March (final date tbc).  If you need to discuss anything before then, please contact us at:   We are happy to come out and meet with colleges and schools. 

The  document Open Access Reports Guidance provides a short summary of the REF Open Access policy and explains what the report categories mean, and there is also a‌ Reports Checklist that highlights key things to check regularly.

REF Open Access compliance guidance, including details on REF exceptions, is also available from the Guidance on Submissions document (pp.58-59) published on the REF 2021 website.

The table below lists requirements that have been raised at the drop-in sessions and training events so far:


1 Identify lead author Papers with multiple GU authors appear in each Unit's report. There is therefore some duplication. College reps agreed they would like to continue with all papers for their unit included in their report even where their staff or student were not the lead author. The library will investigate identifying the lead Glasgow author in future reports but this may not be simple to achieve in the short term. Raised
2 Indicate if 'gold' Future reports might include indication that a decision has been made to pay for open access - often known as 'gold' open access. In such cases the full text will be brought into Enlighten by library staff once the article is published. Done
3 Further help text for authors The 'Read Me' tab will be updated with further caveats e.g. making it clearer that entries on the list are simply an indication of the full text not being on Enlighten yet and not necessarily an issue in all cases. Possible text to pass on to authors to explain what the data means. Contact with questions about specific publications. Done
4 Highlight / grade at risk Consideration will be given to highlighting the most at risk records on the report e.g. highlighting those with 1 month to go until the 3 month deadline for uploading full text to Enlighten. Done
5 Exclude non-paper abstracts Should we identify and exclude conference proceedings that are abstracts of the type that will never have a full peer-reviewed paper from the 'At REF Risk' tab? REF contact says that all articles and conference proceedings are potentially eligible for REF but the OA requirements won't apply if no ISSN.  Further investigation required.  In the short term if items are unlikely to be submitted to REF we could mark them on Enlighten.  To be discussed as part of data review early 2017. Done
7 College summary A summary table will be added for each College. Planned
8 Chart indicating growth The library may add a chart in future showing the growth in levels of compliance per unit.  Added to QlikView. Done
9 Subject level data

The library will consider if details could be provide at subject level in addition to school level.  This is not priority at present. 

10 Per staff member report Some Units were interested in having a per staff member report. The library will discuss this with representatives from the School of Social and Political Sciences Administration and the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences who were present at the workshops.  Possible in QlikView Done
11 Staff with no publications In future we may be able to generate a list of staff eligible for REF inclusion that have no papers on Enlighten so that local managers and administrators can check with them to see if they do have papers that should be added to Enlighten to ensure they are eligible for REF. Planned
12 Include exemptions The library will provide details of REF exceptions noted on publication records. It may take a few months for useful datasets to emerge. Done
13 WoS and Pubmed searches The library will contact each college and determine a plan to search with Web of Science, PubMed, Google Scholar or other relevant tools to find publications that have not been added to Enlighten. Planned
14 Highlight non-compliant / non-exception

If article has issues e.g. an exemption claimed, or non-compliant and user states that they do not want to claim an exception as they do not expect the paper to be submitted to REF do you want that coded and shared in the report and/or would you rather that is confidentially notified to Deans of Research to avoid potentially sharing sensitive comments?  15th June 2016 RSIO confirm that explanation of exemption or notification that author does not expect article to be included in REF should be included in the report and authors made aware that such information will be supplied to colleges and schools.  It may be that exemptions are presented in a seperate tab - one tab showing exceptions and potential exclusions from REF, one showing items at Risk of not being compliant with REF Open Access requirements.  Preferences vary.

15 Clarify Action Required

Correspondence and guidance to be revised to make it clearer:

What action needs to be taken for items at risk and by whom e.g. local administrators can check Enlighten before contacting authors as the record may have been updated since the report was run.

Definition of date of acceptance

That the report is not intended for general circulation 

Partially Complete
16 Clarify Terms

Report willl be updated to include an explanation of the different definitions used in Column D ‘Full text status’ and Column E ‘Is published’

17 Unit of Assessment Report In future once the REF Selections and Units of Assessment functionality is embedded we may run some reports by UoA Done
18 Inclusion Criteria The publication date was used as a proxy for initial reports.  If an items was published after 1st April 2016 it may have been accepted after 1st April.  As acceptance date field is not complete we plan to use the date added to Enlighten but exclude records published before 1st April 2016. 


19 Frequency We would like to be able to deliver the reports on demand rather than as a snapshot.  Done
20 Non-compliant Publications Once the deadline for compliant deposit has passed highlight items that did not meet this requirement distinct to the red flagged items which require action to comply. Done
21 Highlight records deposited after 3 month period Add red flag to records that have had full text deposited but after 3 months have elapsed since the publication date. Done
22 Include data on REF Exceptions Provide information and charts on the number and type of REF Exceptions that have been assigned by each College / School Done
23 Add deadline date on flags Where there is one or two months remaining add in the deadline date so that colleges have this information Done
24 Add UoA to 'ref risk' tab Add UoA to risk tab so that colleges can prioritise items from authors that are likely to be returned to REF Done
25 Clarify UoA purpose When including UoA on at Risk tab make clear to recipients that the purpose of this field does not mean to not action other items. Work in Progress
26 Exception notes include a name

Add name of person who supplied exception info to our note.  Superceded not now including names.

27 Add DOI Add DOI and other publisher information to risk tab Done
28 EPrints ID Make EPrints id field a clickable link field Done
29 Definitions and Labels Update labels and help text to aid understanding of the Qlikview reports Work In Progress
30 Verification Consider how College verification of status of compliance can be managed Work in Progress
31 View that excludes those not being submitted   Done
32 Exclusion of article types Decide it any article types can be excluded without fear of excluding something that may be submitted to REF.  Research and Innovation and Colleges to outline options. Raised
33 Template text for requests to authors Check this is on web and update if required Raised
34 Reflect decisions on submission status made in OMT Be able to toggle on/off items marked as not submitting in OMT which are showing as a risk in QlikView Work in Progress
35 Create 'Exceptions' view Add button to easily view items with REF Exceptions applied Done

Some of these changes may take several months to process due to dependencies.  We will also be working closely with REF experts in Research Strategy and Innovation Office to ensure that the correct criteria are applied.

Infomation of the University's preparations for REF is available from the Research Impact and Support web pages.

If you are interested in the Open Access status for your unit please contact your Dean of Research or Head of College Research Administration or email us at

Payment Information

Please note the following guidance when processing charges for Open Access:

Article Processing Charges (APCs) are upfront fees paid to a publisher to allow immediate open access to journal articles on behalf of the author. If you are paying for an Open Access publication charged from an existing research grant or other source please use Product Code LIB14 (Account code 6162).

This will allow the University to identify Open Access publication charges separately from other account codes. It will facilitate management of the Open Access funding granted to the University and allow us to quantify overall expenditure on open access.

If you are processing other costs associated with the publication of a paper by a Glasgow author e.g. page charges, colour charges, supplement cost please use Product Code LIB16 (Account code 6163).

If authors have legitimate funds for open access in a grant that is due to close before publication it may be possible to transfer the money to an allocated account the Library has so that the fee can be paid when the publication is ready despite the grant being closed.  This is not possible in all cases.  It depends on the funder terms.  Please contact us if you think this might be appropriate for a specific case and we will check.

Biomed Central (BMC)

The University of Glasgow has an open access pre-payment arrangement with BioMed Central for papers acknowledging funding by UKRI or COAF. On submission of a paper to BioMed Central please contact to inform us of the funder name/s and award/s included in the paper.