Open Access : 12 month embargo period during a leap year! (seeking thoughts)

Hi all

St George's have raised an interesting issue.

So, it turns out that 2020 is a leap year (so 366 days) - and this unfortunately impacts on REF OA compliance related to maximum embargo periods.  If the 'Maximum file embargo' period has been input as 365 days, any 12 month embargo period spanning 2020 will come up as not compliant.

It feels like the most pragmatic solution would be to simply change the 'Maximum file embargo' days to 366.  I think there could be a very strong argument for this remaining compliant with the *spirit* of the policy.  Further, when the REF OA policy was originally published, we had gotten confirmation from (then) HEFCE that 1 month could be interpreted as 31 days - so you could make the argument that then 12 months = 372 days.

How does the rest of the community feel about this?  It would be great to hear your thoughts.



Hi Manya

Thanks for posting this up. I was thinking as well after we discussed this, how are other systems/monitoring plugins handling this - eg REF Compliance Checker, or Pure for instance. Do they refer to actual calendars for compliance, or just stick to a notional 365 days?

Maybe others will have some insights. If everyone is just using 365/6 for now, I guess we'd be ok



Hi Jennifer

By 'REF compliance checker' - do you mean the Sherpa REF service?  I'm not sure how they calculate '12 months' ... we could find out :) Ah, but wait ... this service just states the publisher's embargo policy - it doesn't actually do any calculations ... so I don't think this is an issue for them.

For Pure, they are only just now introducing logic around the embargo period maxima - and I have to admit, the thought of leap years never even crossed my mind when I spec'ed the functionality!  Depending on how the period is implemented, some programming languages do the leap year calculations automatically ... I could see if I could find out how Pure are handling it :)

Curious what others' (Elements institutions) thoughts on this are :)



REF CC plugin info is here plus

I think there is a DSpace vers but we're not a DSpace user - see

SHERPA REF service you maybe thinking of



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