Home » REF 2021 » Archive REF 2014 » REF 2014 Frequently Asked Questions » REF 2014 Assessment of outputs

REF 2014 Assessment of outputs

19.    What types of output will be considered for assessment?

Research outputs must be the product of research activity as defined in Annexe C of Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions and must have been brought into the public domain between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2013. Panels will be looking for evidence of originality, significance and rigour. A variety of different output types are listed in the guidance document. Examples include printed academic work, artefacts, patents, exhibits and events. Panels will not regard any particular form of output as of greater or lesser quality than another (pars 105-110, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions).

20.    Will some types of output score more than others?

As mentioned above, the quality of all types of output will be assessed equally. However, in some subjects, institutions can request that a certain type of output, such as a monograph, be considered for double-weighting – i.e. it will count as two outputs (pars 123-126, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions). According to the Panel Criteria and Working Methods document, main panels A and B will only consider double-weighted outputs in exceptional circumstances, whereas panels C and D recognise that such instances may be more common in their UOAs.

21.    Can I submit outputs to the REF that I have written/produced with other people or will the panels only want to assess single-authored outputs?

Panel members recognise the increasing and positive benefits of collaborative research, one of the outcomes of which is co-authored/co-produced research outputs. Such outputs can therefore be submitted to the REF (assuming you’ve made a substantial contribution to that output) and will be judged on their quality regardless of the number of authors. The number of contributors will need to be included as part of the submission and some panels will want evidence that the submitting author made a substantial contribution to that output (par. 120, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions). See question 28 for where to find out if any additional evidence or information is required about co-authored/co-produced outputs.

22.    I have written a paper with a colleague who is in the same UOA as me. Can we both submit the same output for the REF?

Most of the panels expect a co-authored output to be listed only once within a submission to each UOA. Therefore, you’ll have to decide with your colleague which of you is to include the publication in their list of outputs. However, in exceptional cases, some panels accept that it may be possible for the same output to be submitted for two different authors within the same UOA. In which case, the authors will need to have each made a distinct and substantial research contribution and this will need verifying in an additional written statement to accompany the submission. For more details, see item f, Annexe A, Panel Criteria and Working Methods.

23.    I have written a paper with a colleague who is at BU but who is in a different UOA to me. Can we both submit the same output for the REF?

Yes. All co-authors or co-producers of an output that is included in different submissions, whether through the same institution or at a different one, may each list the same output (par. 121, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions).

24.    I have written a paper with a colleague from another university. Can we both submit the same output for the REF?

Yes. All co-authors or co-producers of an output that is included in different submissions, whether through the same institution or at a different one, may each list the same output (par. 121, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions).

25.    I have published a revised version of an output that I submitted to the last RAE. Can I submit this to REF2014?

According to the REF guidelines, an output that includes a substantial amount of material in common with an output that was published prior to the start of the REF census period (1 January 2008) is only eligible if it contains significant new material. If the output was included in the last RAE, panel members will assess only the distinct content submitted for the REF. Also, you’d need to explain how far the work has been revised to incorporate new material (par. 44 and item d. of Annex A, Panel Criteria and Working Methods.)

26.    A large amount of the research in my field is interdisciplinary. How will this be acknowledged within the REF assessment process?

The REF Team are keen for all types of research and research output to be submitted to the REF and that these should be assessed on a fair and equal basis. Given the broader panel expertise in the REF due to the smaller number of UOAs compared with the RAE, panels will include members with interdisciplinary expertise. Additional assessors may also be brought in to cover specific areas and submitting institutions will be able to alert panels to outputs that it considers to be interdisciplinary. There will also be a process for sub-panels to cross-refer parts of a submission to another sub-panel if the sub-panel chair considers this to be necessary (pars 74-76, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions and pars 92-100, Panel Criteria and Working Methods). 

27.    Will my panel look at citation information during the assessment? If so, where will the information come from and how will it be used?

Sub-panels for UOAs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 18 will consider citation data (i.e. the number of times that an output has been cited) as additional information when assessing the academic significance of submitted outputs. However, expert review will remain the primary means of assessing outputs – panels will assess all outputs on an equal basis regardless of whether or not citation data is available for them. Panels will also recognise the limitations of this data, such as variations in citation patterns in different fields and the lack of citations for recently published outputs. Elsevier has been chosen by the REF Team to provide the citation information using its Scopus database. Any such data will be accessible to the submitting institutions for verification prior to being made available to the panels, and will be presented in a consistent format. (For more detail, see pars 131-136, Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions.)

28.  Will I need to supply any additional information about the outputs I intend to submit to the REF?

Some panels require additional written statements or evidence/information to support the outputs being submitted for assessment. Because this varies depending on the different panel requirements, there is a useful summary of what is expected at Annex A, Panel Criteria and Working Methods.

Link to the BU REF 2014 Code of Practice.

Leave a reply

  • (will not be published)