Updated with some links to commentaries at the foot at the post.
Lord Nicholas Stern’s review of the Research Excellence Framework is now available here. For those outside UK higher education, the REF is the means by which academic research is evaluated for league tables and funding.
This independent review makes recommendations on the future operation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The review examines how university research funding can be allocated more efficiently so that universities can focus on carrying out world-leading research.
The key recommendations seem to be that –
- all research active staff should be returned
- instead of four pieces for all people, an average number (which may be different), with some above and below that number
- outputs are not portable – in other words, while you can hire someone, publications accepted prior to that date stay with the previous institution.
- metrics should be used to supplement peer review, not supplant it
- ‘impact’ should be understood more broadly
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