REF: the truth this time...

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 01 April 2010 18:51

Just in case anyone is wondering, my previous blog entry on the Research Excellence Framework wasn’t entirely truthful, and may have been influenced by the date it was published on.

There is, however, a point worth noting (not a joke this time) from the HE Funding Council’s initial decisions on the REF. It’s worth quoting in full: “We welcome the increasing publication of outputs in open access formats and the increasing use of institutional repositories. We intend to discuss with stakeholders how we could take this forward in future assessment exercises, recognising that some exceptions may be required (such as confidential reports for business)”.

Also of note is the latest thinking, in the same document, on the use of bibliometrics. Thus “each [REF] sub-panel will be invited to decide whether it wishes to use citation information to inform its review of outputs”; and the Funding Councils “will reconsider whether the benefits of incorporating citation information into the REF outweigh the costs if only a small minority of panels request citation information, the costs are high, or if the equalities implications cannot be effectively mitigated”. A far cry from the original suggestions for the REF, back in 2007.


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