Posts By / Julie Northam

The REF results are in! BU’s research recognised as world leading

REF logoAfter many years of preparation, numerous mock exercises and thirteen long months of waiting, the REF results are finally published today! And the news for BU is excellent!

62% of BU’s research has been recognised as internationally excellent, with 18% rated as world-leading. This is a significant uplift on our RAE 2008 scores and has been achieved whilst also submitting considerably more staff to REF 2014 (161.8 FTE, an increase of 45.5%). This highlights the growing research volume and quality at BU and is testament to the significant investment that has been put into research over the past decade. The assessment recognised BU as a leading university in both the UK and south west region.

Key achievements for BU overall include:

  • BU was in the top half of all institutions that submitted to the REF (69th out of 154) based on the proportion of research rated of international standard
  • BU was 11th out of the 69 post-1992 universities based on the proportion of world-leading research
  • BU was fourth in the south west based on the proportion of world-leading research, behind Bristol, Bath and Exeter
  • 30% of BU’s research impact was rated world-leading
  • 58% of BU’s research outputs were rated internationally excellent or world-leading
  • 63% of BU’s research environment was rated internationally excellent or world-leading
  • The THE has ranked BU 69th overall, an increase from 75th in 2008, and 69th for impact – http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/ref-2014-results-table-of-excellence/2017590.article

Key achievements for our research areas include:

  • Tourism (UOA 26) was rated as joint-first in the UK (out of 51 institutions) based on its internationally-recognised research
  • Art and design (UOA 34) is in the top quartile in the UK for its world-leading research, and is ranked first in the south west (out of 7 institutions)
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies (UOA 36) is in the top third of institutions in the UK (17th out of 67) for its world-leading research, and 7th in the UK for its world-leading impact
  • Psychology’s (UOA 4) outputs scored particularly well with 73% rated as internationally excellent or world-leading, placing BU 27th out of 82 institutions in the UK
  • Research impact was rated highly in General Engineering (UOA 15) which scored 73% internationally excellent, placing it fourth out of 29 post-1992 institutions.
  • BU submitted considerably more staff to Allied Health Professional, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy (UOA 3) than in the last assessment exercise (9.2fte in 2008 and 21.4fte in 2014) and achieved a significant uplift in the proportion of its research that was rated internationally excellent and world-leading (40% to 54%).
  • Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology (UOA 17) is in the top quartile in the UK (joint-17th out of 74 institutions) based on the proportion of research rated of international standing, making it also 1st out of 20 post-1992 universities
  • Business and Management Studies (UOA 19) scored particularly well in terms of impact, resulting in it ranking 9th in the UK (out of 101 institutions) for its world-leading impact

HEFCE, on behalf of the four funding councils, publish the results of the REF today. You can browse the results here: www.ref.ac.uk.

Congratulations to all – this is a milestone achievement 🙂

Research Council success rates published! Exciting news!

RCUK logoThe Research Councils have published their success rates for the period April 2013 to March 2014. The key message is that their demand management measures are working; most Councils have seem a decline in the number of applications submitted and the success rates stabilising, despite a decrease in the amount of funding allocated.

In 2012-13 BU’s success rate with Research Councils was 8%, despite 12 applications being submitted. This year we have submitted the same number of applications (12) and our success rate has increased to 33% – which is excellent news! This is against a sector average of 30%. The successful awards were:

  • AHRC – Cultural and Scientificat Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions (Prof Mark Maltby)
  • AHRC – Music Publishing (Prof Ruth Towse)
  • AHRC – Research Network: Researching Readers Online (Dr Bronwen Thomas)
  • NERC – Dynamics and Thresholds of Ecosystem Services in Wooden Landscapes (Prof Adrian Newton)

BU has had more grants awarded from the Research Councils over the past year, however the stats only show against the lead institution so successful bids where BU is the collaborating institution are not shown against BU in the data.

BU is especially keen to reduce the number of bids submitted to Research Councils whilst significantly increasing the quality of those which are submitted. BU initiatives, such as the internal peer review scheme and the Grants Academy, have been specifically established to support you to design, write and structure competitive, fundable research proposals and to maximise your chances of being awarded funding.

Read more about the demand management measures that the Research Councils have put in place here: Demand Management

AHRC  – Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions (Mark Maltby)
AHRC – Music Publishing (Ruth Towse)
AHRC – Research Network Researching Readers Online (Bronwen Thomas)
NERC – BESS Grant (Adrian Newton)

Bournemouth to Buenos Aires – Pain, Perception and Partnership Institutions

Colleagues from HSC at BU and the AECC delivered their abstract at the 15th World Congress on Pain – hosted by the International Association for the Study of Pain. The pilot study investigated perceptions of movement in the lower back in those with chronic low back pain. The findings in this small sample revealed that those with back pain were more sensitive to movement than those without back pain. Aspects of this study are being continued as part of a match funded PhD project.

The project team consist of:  Dr. Carol Clark (BU),  Dr. Neil Osborne (AECC), Dr. Sharon Docherty (BU), Dr Dave Newell (AECC), Professors Ahmed Khattab (BU), Jeff Bagust (AECC & BU) and PhD student Sara Glithro.

You can access the conference abstract here: https://brian.bournemouth.ac.uk/viewobject.html?id=186189&cid=1

You can access the journal paper here: Clark, C.J., Doherty, S, Osborne, N, Khattab, A 2014.  A pilot study to compare passive lumbar spine re-positioning error in those with chronic low back pain.  International Musculoskeletal Medicine 36 (3) 105-110

98,735 unique visitors in one year! A review of the readership of the BU Research Blog

We regularly monitor engagement with our award-winning BU Research Blog using the fabulous Google Analytics tool. Over the past year engagement has been incredible. The stats below are based on the period 6 November 2013 to 5 November 2014 (1 year).

On average during this period the blog received 98,735  unique visitors, each spending approximately 3 minutes on the site. The blog is generally much busier on weekdays attracting between 250 and 1,200 unique visitors each day. In total there have been almost 200,000 page views.

The majority of our visitors came, unsurprisingly, from Bournemouth and Poole (23%), indicating that the blog is alive and well among BU colleagues. The next ten UK cities from which visitors most frequented the blog were:

  1. London
  2. Southampton
  3. Manchester
  4. Birmingham
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Sheffield
  7. Exeter
  8. Bristol
  9. Cambridge
  10. Bath

This map shows the locations of all the cities from where the blog has been accessed in the past year:

 

46% of all visitors are from outside of the UK and over the past year we have received visits from people based in 197 different countries. The top ten countries from which visitors most frequented the blog were:

  1. USA
  2. Philippines
  3. Spain
  4. India
  5. France
  6. Germany
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. Italy
  10. Netherlands

Approximately 61% of visitors find us via internet search engines. The top search terms that led readers to our blog over the past year are:

  • sky
  • poverty
  • environment
  • Africa
  • USA
  • transport
  • Santander
  • help
  • good luck
  • jcr 2013 / journal citation reports 2013
  • BU Research Blog
  • welcome
  • sport
  • world poverty
  • tourism
  • Brazil
  • human resources
  • recommendation thesis
  • health and wellbeing
  • lay summary

29% of visitors are direct traffic, i.e. via the web address, the BU Staff Intranet, or the Daily Digest email. This is excellent as it shows that you lovely people who work at Bournemouth University are using the blog – hooray!

9% of visitors are referred to our blog by external sites. Our top referring sites are:

Over the year 25% of visits to the blog were made by returning visitors and 75% were made by new visitors.

Of those who access the blog direct (i.e. mainly BU staff) the 10 most accessed pages last year were:

This is all excellent news 🙂 We’re always open to receiving feedback about the blog – please email us at any time with any comments, suggestions, etc, or add a comment to this blog post.

If you would like access to add your own stories and posts to the blog then email Rhyannan Hurst (rhurst@bournemouth.ac.uk) and she’ll get you started!

Have you checked out the interactive Research Lifecycle diagram yet?

If you haven’t then you most definitely should! Our Research Lifecycle diagram is a jazzy new interactive part of the BU Research Blog that shows the support and initiatives that are available to staff and students at each stage of the research lifecycle. The information is general enough so as to apply to all disciplines and you can use it to organize and identify the many activities involved in your research. You can explore the Research Lifecycle to find information on how to get started with:

1. Developing your research strategy

2. Developing your proposal

3. The research process

4. Publication and dissemination

5. Impact

RKEO will be adding to the Research Lifecycle to ensure it always contains the most up to date information to support you with planning, organising and undertaking your research.

You can access the diagram from the links in this post or from the menu bar that appears on all screens in the Research Blog.

 

RKE Ops and the RDU are no more – welcome the revamped Research and Knowledge Exchange Office

Two months ago we launched the revamped Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO). This signaled the end of the previous structure and with it the end of RKE Ops and the Research Development Unit (RDU). Going forth we are simply called RKEO.

RKEO is made up of three functional teams:

  • Funding Development Team
  • Project Delivery Team
  • Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team

This new structure mirrors the research life cycle and will ensure that academics get dedicated and high quality support throughout all parts of the research and knowledge exchange process. A summary of the remit of each of the new teams is provided below:

  • Funding Development Team: Support and advice with all pre-award activities, such as horizon-scanning, identifying funding opportunities, developing and submitting proposals, and development schemes such as the Grants Academy.
  • Project Delivery Team: Support and advice for all post-award activities, to include project and financial management of grants and contracts, ethics and outputs.
  • Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team: Support and advice for all corporate-level knowledge exchange initiatives, including business engagement, the Festival of Learning, research communications and research impact.

You can access information on the new structure, team members and the new structure chart here: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/contact/

Apply for the Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme now!

Last week we announced the launch of the Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme and opened the call for applications for positions to run in semester 2 (see Launch of the BU URA programme). The deadline is fast approaching (14th November) so you will need to get your applications in soon (apply here).

Having a URA working with you has many benefits to both you and the student. These include:

  • Increased opportunity for co-creation between you and the student
  • Increased satisfaction for you and the student
  • Promotion of careers in academia and research to the student
  • Promotion of opportunities for postgraduate study to the student
  • The student will support you with your research

Picking up on this last point, this could include supporting you with undertaking a pilot study which could then be used to strengthen your application for external research funding. Typical duties of a URA include (but are not restricted to):

  • performing experiments and analysing the results
  • disseminating new knowledge orally or in written outputs
  • literature searches
  • presenting results at conferences
  • providing general research support to academics

You can apply for a URA position to run in semester 2 by competing this short application form and submitting it by 14th November.

HEFCE are looking for views on a potential international REF in future…

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

This survey forms part of a project exploring the benefits and challenges of expanding the UK’s research assessment system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), on an international basis. At the broadest level, this means an extension of the assessment to incorporate submissions from universities overseas.

This follows an invitation earlier this year from the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, for HEFCE to provide an opinion on the feasibility of an international REF. The project belongs in a wider context of international interest in the exercise, on which HEFCE frequently provides information and advice to higher education policymakers and university senior management from overseas.

The THE ran a story about this in April 2014: HEFCE looks at overseas links for research excellence 

Responses are invited from any organisation or individual with an interest in higher education research or its assessment. The survey will be open until Wednesday 12 November 2014.

The survey only has four questions –

1. What do you think the key benefits would be of expanding the REF internationally?

2. What do you think the key challenges would be in expanding the REF internationally?

3. In view of the potential benefits and challenges overall, how supportive would you be of further work to explore the issues in more depth?

4. Have you got any further comments relating to internationalisation of REF?

To complete the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/refinternationalisation

Launch of the BU Undergraduate Research Assistantship programme

I am delighted to announce today the launch of BU’s Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme. Funded by the Fusion Investment Fund, this programme will offer paid employment opportunities for approximately 40 BU undergraduate students to work in clusters, centres and institutes, under the guidance of experienced academics, in a research position that is directly related to their career path and/or academic discipline. This will enable the students to assist academic staff with their research whilst also gaining valuable research experience.

Research shows there is a direct link between student satisfaction and research-based learning, particularly when the opportunity is in their field of study[1], and that the undergraduate student experience is improved by engaging them with research early and often.[2] URAs are common in North America and are offered in a significant number of universities, for example Harvard University, Northern Illinois University, Kent State University and Cornell University.

In 2014-15 BU is offering two modes of the URA programme:

  1. semester-based programme (c. 20 part-time positions running for eight weeks in semester 2)
  2. summer programme (c. 20 full-time positions running for six weeks in June/July 2015)

There are two stages to the application process: 1) School/Faculty application stage whereby BU academic staff can apply for URA positions, and 2) student selection stage whereby School/Faculty staff recruit to the positions.

We are now accepting applications from academic staff for URA positions for the semester-based programme. The deadline for applications is 14th November 2014. All applications received will be reviewed by representatives from the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee, with decisions on which positions to fund announced at the start of December. There will be a second round next year for the summer programme.
Further details, including the application form, are available here: Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) programme

[1] For example: Healey and Jenkins (2011) Linking discipline-based research with teaching to benefit student learning, available from: http://www.mickhealey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Linking-RT-Handout-Website1.doc

[2] For example: Madan, C R & Braden, D T (2013) The Benefits of Undergraduate Research: The Student’s Perspective, available from: http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/05/undergraduate-research-students-perspective/

REF 2020 update

In approximately 7 weeks we will know the outcome of the REF 2014 exercise. It is hard to believe that it is almost a year since we submitted to the exercise and that the results are round the corner. Whilst the expert panels have been assessing the submissions this past year, HEFCE have been working hard to design and shape the post-2014 REF, currently being referred to as REF 2020. They are currently midway through a review of the role of metrics in research assessment to ascertain the extent to which metrics could be used in the assessment and management of research. They have commissioned RAND Europe to undertake an assessment of the impact element of REF 2014, part of which will include recommendations to the assessment of impact in future REF exercises. They are currently consulting on whether an international REF exercise, rather than a national one, is the way forward. And, arguably the most important announcement to date, they have confirmed their open access policy for the next REF which stipulates that in order to be eligible for submission to the next REF from April 2016 all journal papers and conference proceedings have to be made freely available in an institutional and/or subject repository at the time of acceptance. Outputs not made freely available in a repository at the time of acceptance after April 2016 will be exempt from inclusion.

The Research Blog’s REF pages have recently been updated and you can read more of what we know about REF 2020 here: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/ref/

As soon as we know more we will post it on the Blog. Until then we wait with anticipation for the REF 2014 results!

Want to know how to publish a journal article and retain your rights? – International Open Access Week

Then say hello to the SPARC Author Addendum – http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum

SPARC is The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication.

Your article has been accepted for publication in a journal and, like your colleagues, you want it to have the widest possible distribution and impact in the scholarly community. In the past, this required print publication. Today you have other options, like online archiving, but the publication agreement you’ll likely encounter will actually prevent broad distribution of your work.

It is unlikely that you would knowingly keep your research from a readership that could benefit from it, but signing a restrictive publication agreement limits your scholarly universe and lessens your impact as an author.

Why? According to the traditional publication agreement, all rights —including copyright — go to the journal. You probably want to include sections of your article in later works. You might want to give copies to your class or distribute it among colleagues. And you are likely to want to place it on your staff profile page and in BU’s institutional repository (BURO, especially as this is now a requirement for the next REF exercise – see this post for further information). These are all ways to give your research wide exposure and fulfill your goals as a scholar, but they are inhibited by the traditional agreement. If you sign on the publisher’s dotted line, is there any way to retain these critical rights?

Yes. The SPARC Author Addendum is a legal instrument that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows you to keep key rights to your articles. The Author Addendum is a free resource developed by SPARC in partnership with Creative Commons and Science Commons, established non-profit organizations that offer a range of copyright options for many different creative endeavors.

Visit the SPARC website for further information – http://www.sparc.arl.org/resources/authors/addendum

Have you got any experience of using this to negotiate your rights as an author with publishers? Share your experiences by contributing to the Research Blog!

LOVE your drafts, DON’T delete them, ADD them to BRIAN! – International Open Access Week

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceDon’t delete your drafts!  You will hear this A LOT over the next couple of years as the open access movement gathers even more momentum and the role of green open access and institutional repositories is moved to the fore of the next REF (likely to be REF 2020).  HEFCE have confirmed that all journal papers and conference proceedings submitted to the next REF will have to be made freely available in an institutional or subject repository (such as BURO) upon acceptance (subject to publisher’s embargo periods).

Therefore:

  • A journal paper / conference proceeding that was not made freely available in a repository, such as BURO, from the point of acceptance will not be eligible to be submitted, even if it is made available retrospectively.
  • The version made available in BURO should be the final accepted version but does not have to be the publisher’s PDF
  • This is applicable to outputs published from April 2016 onwards.

It is excellent to see the Funding Councils promoting the open access agenda and embedding it within the REF.  Making outputs freely available increases their visibility and is likely to increase their impact, not only within the academic community but in the public sphere too.  It ensures research is easily accessible to our students, politicians and policy-makers, charities and businesses and industry, as well as to potential collaborators in other countries which can help with building networks and the internationalisation of research.

Talking to academic colleagues around the University it is apparent that the normal practice is to delete previous drafts, including the final accepted version, as soon as a paper is approved for publication.   This needs to change!  Many publisher’s will already allow you to add the final accepted version of your paper to BURO (just not the version with the publisher’s header, logo, etc) and this is set to increase in light of the HEFCE consultation.  Rather than deleting the final version, add it to BRIAN so it will be freely available to everyone in the institutional repository, BURO.

We need to get into the habit now of doing this now.  BRIAN is linked to the Sherpa-Romeo database of journals so you can easily check the archiving policy of the journal.  All you need to do is:

1. Log into your BRIAN account and find the paper.

2. One of the tabs is named ‘full text’.

3. If you click into this tab you will see a link near the Sherpa-Romeo logo to check your ‘publisher’s policy’.

4. Click on this and you will see the archiving policy for this particular journal, clearly stating which version of the paper can be uploaded. Ideally you are looking for your journal to be a green journal which allows the accepted version or (even better but quite rare, unless you have paid extra to make it freely available) the publisher’s version/PDF. See the screen shot.

5. Click ‘back’ and then click on the ‘full text’ tab again and you will see a link (in a blue box) to ‘upload new file for this publication’.

6. Upload the file and follow the onscreen instructions.

7. Your full text will then automatically feed through to BURO and be available open access in the next few days.

 

In point 4 I mentioned about paying extra to the publisher at the point of acceptance to make it freely available upon publication.  This is often referred to as the gold route to open access publishing and at BU we have a central dedicated budget for paying these fees.  You can find out about the GOLD route to open access publishing here: Gold route

So the overriding message is:

LOVE YOUR DRAFTS – DON’T DELETE THEM – ADD THEM TO BRIAN!

Code of Practice for the Employment and Development of Research Staff

I am delighted to share with you BU’s new Code of Practice for the Employment and Development of Research Staff. Research staff in this context are defined as staff with a primary responsibility to undertake research, including pre-and post-doctoral staff on fixed-term and open-ended contracts funded through limited period grants, named fellowships and sometimes institutional funds.

The code provides guidance on the University’s expectations for the recruitment, support, management and development of research staff in line with the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (2008) and the European Charter for Researchers (2005). It is relevant to research staff and their managers as well as to BU staff in general. It has been written by the University’s Research Concordat Steering Group and is one of the objectives from our action plan to further align BU’s policy and practice to the seven principles of the Concordat and to further improve the working environment for research staff at BU.

This is the first time that BU has had a code of practice specifically for research staff and the document acknowledges the valued contribution made by research staff to the research undertaken at BU. The further recognition of the value of research staff and the development of career opportunities for them are key matters on which we will continue to work.

Access information about BU’s work to embed the principles of the Concordat here: http://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/research-concordat/ 

HEFCE are looking for views on a potential international REF in future…

HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

This survey forms part of a project exploring the benefits and challenges of expanding the UK’s research assessment system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), on an international basis. At the broadest level, this means an extension of the assessment to incorporate submissions from universities overseas.

This follows an invitation earlier this year from the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, for HEFCE to provide an opinion on the feasibility of an international REF. The project belongs in a wider context of international interest in the exercise, on which HEFCE frequently provides information and advice to higher education policymakers and university senior management from overseas.

The THE ran a story about this in April 2014: HEFCE looks at overseas links for research excellence 

Responses are invited from any organisation or individual with an interest in higher education research or its assessment. The survey will be open until Wednesday 12 November 2014.

The survey only has four questions –

1. What do you think the key benefits would be of expanding the REF internationally?

2. What do you think the key challenges would be in expanding the REF internationally?

3. In view of the potential benefits and challenges overall, how supportive would you be of further work to explore the issues in more depth?

4. Have you got any further comments relating to internationalisation of REF?

To complete the survey visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/refinternationalisation

Have you been involved with an event designed for the external community?

Then we want to hear from you! 🙂

The University is currently compiling the data for the annual Higher Education – Business & Community Interaction survey (HE-BCI) due to be submitted to HESA in early December.

We are asked to submit details of social, cultural and community events designed for the external community (to include both free and chargeable events) which took place between 1 August 2013 and 31 July 2014.

Event types that should be returned include, but are not limited to:

  • public lectures
  • performance arts (dance, drama, music, etc)
  • exhibitions
  • museum education
  • events for schools and community groups
  • business breakfasts

We cannot return events such as open days, Student Union activity, commercial conferences, etc.

All events that we ran as part of the Festival of Learning, ESRC Festival of Social Science and Cafe Scientifique series are likely to be eligible for inclusion and we will collate this information on your behalf centrally.

If you have been involved with any other event which could be returned, please could you let your contact (see below) know the event name and date, whether it was free or chargeable, the estimated number of attendees, and an estimate of how much academic time was spent preparing for (but not delivering) the event:

  • SciTech – Norman Stock
  • BS – Corrina Lailla Osborne
  • HSC – Andy Scott
  • MS – Mark Borcklehurst
  • ST – Rob Hydon
  • Professional Service – please contact Julie Northam in RKEO

The data returned is used by HEFCE to allocate the HEIF funding so it is important that we return as accurate a picture as possible.

International History of the Radio Documentary

The first open meeting of the Centre for Media History will be this coming Monday, 13 October. The guest speaker will be Virginia Madsen, Convenor Radio at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia who will be talking about her forthcoming book on the international history of the radio documentary

 

Monday 13 October

6 – 7.30 pm

Lecture theatre KG03 in Kimmeridge House, Talbot campus Refreshments served from 5.30 pm

 

Virginia Madsen is a Senior Lecturer and Convenor Radio at Macquarie University, Sydney. Formerly a producer for Australia’s ABC, she was a founding member of the national audio arts programme, ‘The Listening Room’. She has published pioneering essays exploring the radio documentary and ‘feature’, and ‘cultural radio’ traditions. She is currently writing the first international history of ‘the documentary imagination’ in radio, examining forms and developments from the 1920s to the present renaissance. Virginia is Chair of the Management Committee of Australia’s only Centre for Media History and Chief Investigator of the ARC Project (2014): “Cultural Conversations: A History of ABC Radio National”.