Did submission rules affect the submission sizes of the units to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework in 2014?

MEHMET PINAR*, EMRE UNLU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) follows a set of submission rules. Here we analyse whether the submission rules of the impact element arguably shaped the submission sizes of the submitting units – a group of academics researching on a specific subject area in higher education providers – to the REF in 2014. The number of impact case studies required was determined by the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff members submitted by the unit. We argue that units that did not have an extra impact case study or units’ perception of lower quality of additional impact case study made some units to lower their submission sizes. We show that there were proportionately more submissions with a size just below the threshold FTE – a threshold used to identify the numbers of impact case studies – than those just above the threshold, suggesting that some units arguably decreased their size to return fewer impact studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPerspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Early online date28 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Research Excellence Framework
  • impact element
  • submission rules
  • gaming
  • metrics
  • research assessment

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