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Accessing and submitting research outputs

The RAE Team has been working with the Publishers Licensing Society, Copyright Licensing Agency, CrossRef and Eduserv to provide panel members with access to submitted research outputs. Institutions need to be able to make available for assessment the version of any research output cited in form RA2 (see paragraph 45 of the RAE 03/2005 Guidance on submissions).

In order to reduce the burden on institutions to provide paper copies of research outputs, the data collection system has been configured to allow all research outputs submitted as output type D, journal articles, to be referenced using their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) where available. A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a digital object such as an electronic journal article. This will enable the RAE Team and panels to access the published version of journal articles in electronic form via publishers' web-sites. We have worked with CrossRef, the DOI registration agency, to develop functionality in the data collection system to allow the identification and verification of DOIs, and with Eduserv to give RAE panel members access to publishers' websites using the Athens authentication system. For those journal articles which do not have a DOI assigned, institutions will need to be able to provide a copy of the journal article in PDF format.

Submitting HEIs should be ready to provide physical copies of other research outputs cited in RA2. The RAE Team has issued guidance for HEIs about the process for submitting research outputs, including information about the format in which research outputs should be submitted.

In many cases, the RAE Team will need to be able to provide submitted research outputs in printed form to panel members for assessment. HEFCE, acting on behalf of the RAE Team, has therefore agreed a royalty-free licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency to enable access for RAE purposes to books, journals, and magazines purchased by the UK higher education community. The following note sets out the parameters of the licence agreement, which has informed the RAE Team's advice on collecting and submitting research outputs. HEIs should refer to the RAE Team's guidance on collecting research outputs when determining how to provide research outputs for assessment.

The licence agreement permits panel members, and the RAE Team to display the material on screen or to print a copy for assessment; to download and store copies of such material in digital form for the purpose of assessing any RAE submission; and to link to research outputs referred to in any submission via the DOI.

The licence also permits submitting HEIs to submit a copy in digital form or provide a photocopy of the full text of research outputs in any submission; and provide this information to the RAE Team based at HEFCE. Where an HEI has a subscription permitting access to the full-text of a submitted research output, the HEI is authorised to download the publisher's PDF file for transmission to the RAE Team for RAE assessment purposes. For research outputs available in print, HEIs may provide photocopies or (where appropriate) the scanned digital form of the research output required for assessment.

It should be noted that material copied or accessed under the agreement should not be used for any purpose other than those described above in connection with the RAE 2008, and should not be stored except as required for RAE verification purposes. In addition, it is not permissible to store any of the materials copied or accessed under the agreement once the exercise is completed at the end of 2008.