I had considered writing about this myself. I also noticed the article in the Times Higher Education a few days ago about HESA publishing contextual staff data. I’ve written a number of times about my concerns about REF2014 (see, for example, REF2014: Good or Bad and The negative impact of REF) and it is amazing – to me at least – that at this late stage they are still finalising the procedures. Rather than writing my own post, I thought I would simply reblog this as it mostly says what I was going to say myself.

In the Dark

The topic of the dreaded 2014 Research Excellence Framework came up quite a few times in quite a few different contexts over the last few days, which reminded me that I should comment on a news item that appeared a week or so ago.

As you may or may not be aware, the REF is meant to assess the excellence of university departments in various disciplines and distribute its “QR” research funding accordingly.  Institutions complete submissions which include details of relevant publications etc and then a panel sits in judgement. I’ve already blogged of all this: the panels clearly won’t have time to read every paper submitted in any detail at all, so the outcome is likely to be highly subjective. Moreover, HEFCE’s insane policy to award the bulk of its research funds to only the very highest grade (4* – “internationally excellent”) means that small variations in judged…

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