Perceptions of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2014: A small survey of academics

Tony Murphy, Daniel Sage

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

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    Abstract

    Earlier work inspired by a body of literature raised important questions about the workings of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) and its predecessor the Research Assessment Framework (RAE), and noted the possible adverse outcomes of such processes. This paper builds on this by examining the findings of a small survey of social science academics. The survey identified concerns about the validity of the REF as a proxy for quality, and the role it has had in shaping patterns of research behaviour. There were also frequent concerns related to morale. Yet although responses tended to be negative, there was also a significant voice signalling the importance the REF plays in ensuring accountability and transparency in research, as well as a sense that the pressures that come with such processes are simply ‘part and parcel’ of academic life. The role of wider time-management factors, related to heavy teaching and administration burdens, was also signalled, and cited by some as overshadowing the pressures of REF.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-36
    JournalAustralian Universities' Review
    Volume57
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2015

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