The Holistic Librarian – Thing 14

Hi. I am Anne Dinan and I am the Subject Librarian for Education, Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

Task 14 was:

A researcher asks if his research data can count as a research output for the REF. How would you find out?

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

I knew that REF aims to increase the quality of the research, and that data has to be submitted for the REF, but not the details and criteria involved.

What I know now:

The REF will assess 3 elements which reflect the key characteristics of research excellence: outputs, impact and environment.  The elements will be assessed and rated by the expert panels on a five-point scale, varying from unclassified to four-star (exceptional i.e. world leading). The quality of research outputs will be the main element of the assessment.

All submitted outputs will be treated equally, and panels will not make judgements about the quality of outputs solely on the basis of citation information.

HEIs should select staff and their outputs for assessment. Eligible staff are those who have produced research of high quality;  all types of high quality research output are encouraged.  The criteria for assessing outputs will be ‘originality, rigour and significance’.  Sub-panels will assess outputs through expert review.  Outputs will be assessed against international standards of excellence.

Types of output should be categorised into the following broad types:

  1. Books (or parts of books). ii. Journal articles and conference contributions. iii. Physical artefacts. iv. Exhibitions and performances. v. Other documents. vi. Digital artefacts (including web content). vii. Other.

In some cases, research data can be research output for the REF.

How did I obtain this knowledge?

There is useful information on REF on their website.   There is an Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions.

Further information within the University of Exeter may be obtained from:

The Open Access and Data Curation Team and Research Knowledge and Transfer

What else would I like to know about the topic?

This is an area which subject librarians need to know more about in order to answer individual enquiries.  It is a complicated and new area, so advice would be useful.  So far, I have responded to requests as they arise.

How did I find this task? How would improve it?

Collating the information on all topics would be useful. A group discussion would be beneficial, so that feedback and ideas could be exchanged.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by eadinan on December 19, 2012

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