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The RAE is Dead!. Long live the REF!. The Changes. The RAE looks at three main areas: Outputs Environment Esteem We are used evaluations of Environment and Esteem being “ informed ” by metrics The intention is that under the REF all three areas will be metric determined .

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the rae is dead

The RAE is Dead!

Long live the REF!

the changes
The Changes.
  • The RAE looks at three main areas:
    • Outputs
    • Environment
    • Esteem
  • We are used evaluations of Environment and Esteem being “informed” by metrics
  • The intention is that under the REF all three areas will be metric determined.
  • This will require the introduction of bibliometrics into the REF.
the three most important words
The Three Most Important Words
  • You might guess that the three most important words in the REF were:

Research

Evaluation

Framework

Unfortunately, you would be wrong!

the three most important words4
The Three Most Important Words
  • Without any doubt the three most important words in the REF are:

We

Don’t

Know!

The worrying thing here is that, at the moment, “WE” includes HEFCE!

surely hefce aren t that stupid
Surely HEFCE aren’t that stupid?
  • HEFCE have conducted a pilot study into gathering bibliometric data.
  • The pilot was to run concurrently with the 2008RAE to provide a basis for comparison.
  • Unfortunately this proved to be impossible – and so no benchmark is available!
the hefce bibliometric pilot study
The HEFCE Bibliometric Pilot Study
  • Involved 16 universities
  • Covered 35 UoA’s – good coverage in; Science, Computing, Engineering. Very little social science or arts coverage.
  • The candidates were asked to provide bibliometrics – including citation data on all staff in the UoA which were submitted to RAE2008.
  • The candidates were asked to provide the information as quickly as possible, consistent with quality checking.
the hefce bibliometric pilot study7
The HEFCE Bibliometric Pilot Study
  • The “best” university managed to comply in 3 days!
  • One university took 150 days! – using an undisclosed, but substantial, number of staff.
  • In two years time we could be asked to do this on an annual basis!
lessons learnt from the pilot
Lessons Learnt from the Pilot.
  • Difficulties with older or existing information.
  • The process must be on-going and not just pre-submission.
  • Data cleansing is very time consuming – formats, mistakes, missing fields etc.
  • Difficulties linking publications to staff and staff to UoA’s (HESA id).
  • In some subjects the coverage simply is not there – i.e. the information does not exist!
does this slow hefce down
Does this slow HEFCE down?
  • Not a bit of it!
    • Autumn 2009 – consult on main features of REF
    • May 2010 – outcome of consultation, phasing in timetable, main operational features in place.
    • 2011-12 – metrics begin to inform funding.
    • 2012 – submissions to 2013 ‘light touch’ peer review process.
    • 2013 – undertake full assessment using ‘light touch’ peer review and metrics
    • 2014 – HEFCE research funding for all subjects driven by REF from this time on.
so what should we do
So, what should we do?
  • JMU Working Party set up. This includes;
    • UoA co-ordinators from science/technical, social science and arts subject areas.
    • Colleagues from Computer Services and the Library.
    • Representatives from Research Office.
  • Decided that we must plan for the “worst case” scenario. That is, we will be required:
    • to return bibliometric data on ALL publications,
    • by ALL academic staff,
    • referenced back to UoA’s,
    • Over a 10 year period,
    • annually!
introducing sympletic
Introducing...Sympletic
  • Sympletic is a publications management system developed in collaboration with Imperial College.
  • What Sympletic does:
    • We supply a list of names, aliases, email addresses, affiliations and UoA data.
    • Sympletic trawls databases looking for publications by these individuals.
    • If it finds a candidate publication it emails the person concerned and asks them to confirm if the paper is theirs.
introducing sympletic12
Introducing...Sympletic
  • On confirmation...
    • Sympletic will download all information regarding that publication.
    • Sympletic will maintain this information in an updated condition – particularly citation data.
    • Staff will be able to examine their own record and notify Simpletic of any errors or omissions.
sympletic
Sympletic
  • The plus points:
    • Once set up, the system is self maintaining.
    • Producing up to date reports at, multiple levels,
      • University
      • Faculty
      • School
      • Research Group
      • Individual
    • Can automatically update websites
    • Resource for REF, CV’s, Grant Applications, Corporate Publications etc.
    • Sympletic “talks” to Oracle and Oracle HR.
sympletic14
Sympletic
  • The minus points:
    • We need a definite staff list – referenced to UoA’s
    • Staff engagement
      • Personal benefits
      • Managerial benefits
    • Issues with coverage – WoS and PubMed. Other databases?
    • Does not solve the problem of the data simply not existing.
sympletic action points
Sympletic – Action Points
  • Software Demonstration
  • If used the timetable would be:
    • Spring 2009 – Pilot
    • Sept 2009 – roll out
    • March 2010 – full deployment.
  • Management input needed to promote staff engagement by adopting Sympletic for other processes:
      • Profs/Readers
      • Website maintenance
      • Validation/Accreditation documents
      • PDPR