Since the UK decided to link research assessment to research funding, there have been critiques that the competitive nature of the REF assessment creates a winner takes all environment. Whilst this is difficult to assess, Banal-Estanol et al. use a nov…
Category: Research Excellence Framework
Research assessments tell us what and who did research impact, but say little about the why and how.
The introduction of impact into the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the results it provided had a transformative effect on perceptions and approaches to research impact. However, REF 2021 and the results of the first KEF have had a more su…
For the sake of all involved, we should stop the REF clock
Emily Yarrow and Julie Davies argue any benefits of the current March 31st submission date for REF2021 should not outweigh the human costs to the academics and staff currently working to achieve this deadline. The UK is in the midst of the worst health and financial crises for several generations and the REF deadline of … Continued
How should we celebrate the research excellence obscured by the REF? The case of the Research Software Engineer
The Research Excellence Framework’s purpose is to assess world-class research. However, it overlooks the work of many groups who make possible high-quality research submissions. James Baker illustrates this through the case of the Research Software Engineer, without whom much high-quality research would not be possible, but whose contributions do not get counted by the REF. … Continued
Unfunded research: Why academics do it and its unvalued contribution to the impact agenda
Unfunded research takes time and money for already stretched academics. Yet it makes up over a quarter of all research carried out in British universities. Professor Rosalind Edwards has spoken to academics about why they do unfunded research and argues that universities need to revalue this work in light of the significant contribution it makes … Continued
The A to Z of writing an impact case study
With submission to REF 2021 now less than two years away, university staff and academics are stepping up work to present their best examples of research impact in the form of compelling impact case studies. In thinking about how to approach writing these documents, Sally Brown has compiled this useful A to Z; from understanding your impact aim, all the […]
Could it all be much ado about nothing? A tragicomic perspective on research impact
The contemporary drive to understand exactly how academic research has had an impact on society represents a major undertaking, with significant resources being expended. However, researchers acknowledge there may be occasions where no amount of time, effort, or funds will identify the impact arising from certain research. Given the considerable effort that has been dedicated to research assessment processes, and […]
Impact from critical research: what might it look like and what support is required?
As demands for demonstrating impact are increasingly woven throughout the funding and institutional architectures of higher education, concerns have been raised that the impact agenda could adversely affect critical and blue-skies research, favouring instead research that lends itself more easily to societal uptake. Ahead of REF 2021, Ruth Machen considers what impact from critical research could look like and how […]
Guidance on testimonials and statements to corroborate impact
One of the more compelling forms of evidence submitted to REF2014 by universities looking to demonstrate research impact was the corroborating statement or testimonial from a research user or partner organisation. Stephen Kemp provides clear guidance on what these statements should include and aim to convey, while also sharing advice on how they might be sourced, as well as other, […]
How was social media cited in 2014 REF Impact Case Studies?
In their previous Impact Blog post, Katy Jordan and Mark Carrigan considered whether institutions have invested too much hope in social media as a solution to the problem of demonstrating research impact. Here they report on research analysing how social media was cited in impact case studies submitted to the UK’s REF 2014. Around a quarter of case studies contained […]