Detailed guidance is currently under development in several policy areas and will be published in the Guidance on Submissions in summer 2018. This will include further information on the following topics:
- eligibility of individuals and their outputs (beyond those provided in ‘Decisions on staff and outputs’)
- individual and unit circumstances
- joint submissions
- multiple submissions
- the timing and criteria for requesting exclusions for small submissions.
We are also developing arrangements for audit procedures, and will publish these following the final guidance and criteria.
Open access FAQs are available here.
Yes. Responsibility for mapping staff into UOAs will remain with institutions.
The number of outputs for each submission will be calculated by multiplying the total FTE of ‘Category A submitted’ staff in the submitting unit by 2.5. The FTE of staff across all submitting units in the institution should total the FTE of staff at institution level (except where an exclusion from submission has been given for a very small unit).
No. The number of outputs for each submission will be calculated by multiplying the total FTE of ‘Category A submitted’ staff by 2.5.
Staff employed after the census date will not be eligible for submission.
No. The outputs of former staff optionally may be included in submissions, where the staff member was previously employed as Category A eligible when the output was demonstrably generated.
We note concerns that, in view of the institution’s future intentions, the inclusion of outputs from staff made redundant may not represent a rounded view of the work carried out in the submitting unit. We will consult the main panels and the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel on this issue, when considering the full set of eligibility criteria for output submission.
No. To be eligible for return, outputs must be authored by ‘Category A submitted’ staff or staff previously employed as ‘Category A eligible’ when the output was first made publicly available. Outputs co-authored by Category C staff may be submitted within the min. 1 and max. 5 limits of the Category A staff co-author.
Institutions will have to provide a written statement for all submitted staff on the minimum 0.2 FTE contract that describes the connection of the staff member to the submitting institution. This may include, for example, postgraduate research (PGR) student supervision responsibilities. This will also apply to former staff on 0.2FTE contracts whose outputs are submitted by their former institution.
Staff with significant responsibility for research are those for whom explicit time and resources are made available to engage actively in independent research, and that is an expectation of their job role. The guidance on submissions and panel criteria will provide a menu of suggested indicators of significant responsibility for research that institutions might use when developing their processes. This guidance will not prescribe a fixed set of criteria that all staff would be required to meet.
In recognition of differences across institutions in how staff responsibilities are determined, the funding bodies do not consider it appropriate to set a generic criterion relating to a minimum proportion of time allocated for research. However, we recognise that many institutions will want to draw on the proportion of time that is allocated for research to identify staff in scope. The funding bodies consider that this will be an appropriate approach, where there is a clear and agreed rationale for the proportion that is set.
No. Evidence of research independence will only be required for staff on ‘research only’ contracts.
Where the institutional process for determining ‘significant responsibility for research’ includes an evaluation of research independence, this may be included in the Code of Practice. Further guidelines on the appropriate indicators of ‘significant responsibility for research’ will be provided in the guidance on submissions and panel criteria.
We are working with the Higher Education Statistics Agency to enable close alignment between the information collected in the staff record and the submission requirements for the REF. Decisions on the data to be used will be published in the Guidance on Submissions.
Rounding will be to the nearest whole number.
Yes, where they are within the publication period and meet any other applicable eligibility criteria, these outputs may be included in submissions by the institution employing the staff member on the census date.
Yes. The minimum and maximum limits on the number of outputs will apply to the person, not their FTE.
Each missing output or case study will receive an ‘unclassified’ score.
We will explore introducing discrete sub-profiles for outputs with the panels in the broader UOAs, and will consider implementation following further consultation on the panel criteria.
No. The REF is governed by a principle of equity and is committed to the fair and equal assessment of all types of research and forms of research output.
Yes. We do not envisage making any substantive changes to the policy of double-weighting outputs.
Yes. As was the case in REF 2014, each main panel will provide guidance on how outputs of extended scale and scope are characterised in their disciplines, and on the process for requesting an output to be double-weighted.
For Category A submitted staff, outputs that are within the publication period and meet any other applicable eligibility criteria (for example, open access requirements) are eligible.
The detailed guidance and criteria, due to be published in summer 2018, will set out further guidance relating to the submission and assessment of interdisciplinary research. This will draw on advice from our Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel (IDAP), including around improving the guidance for identifying interdisciplinary research outputs.
Interdisciplinary advisers could come from a variety of research backgrounds: for example they may have experience of publishing IDR, managing complex IDR projects, leading IDR initiatives or research in the area of IDR practice. See our blog on interdisciplinary research for further details.
Interdisciplinary advisers will:
- contribute to the development of panel criteria and working methods;
- provide oversight of the assessment of IDR elements within each submission;
- assess submissions; and
- engage with the broader network of advisers.
Yes. Data about research income and research doctoral degrees awarded must fall within the assessment period: 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020.
Institutions can provide any data that they consider appropriate as evidence for claims made in the statement. A working group of the Forum for Responsible Research Metrics has been established to consider the types of data that institutions might select to include, and the group will provide guidance to the panels. Guidance on the inclusion of quantitative data will be included in the panel criteria, which will be published for consultation in summer 2018.
We will develop the environment template with the panels, and anticipate that this will again include a section describing the coverage and structure of the submitting unit.
We do not intend to allow a reduction in the number of case studies required from any submitting unit.