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Research outputs (REF2)
Latest FAQs (March 2013)
In the case of an edited work, where the editor has made several contributions (for example, the introduction, a substantive chapter and the conclusion), can these be submitted as a single output? Or could they, if preferred, be submitted as separate outputs?
The edited work could be submitted as a single output or alternatively, could be submitted separately if they are coherent as separate outputs. If returning them as separate outputs, you should consider whether they have significant material in common. (Further guidance on how outputs with significant material in common will be assessed is available in Part2 of the 'panel criteria'.)
For the UOAs in Main Panel A, what information should be provided to establish the author's contribution to a multi-authored research output?
Main Panel A have requested standard statements about the individual's contribution to a co-authored output, where required (see paragraphs 34–37 of Part2A of the 'Panel criteria'). In addition, to assure themselves about an author's substantial contribution, the sub-panel may request further details of the specific contribution of the author, through an audit query. Main Panel A have indicated that such audit queries are especially likely for outputs with 15 or more authors (and where the individual is not the lead or corresponding author).
When matching research outputs to Scopus within the REF submission system, what should I do if the electronic and hard copy versions of the same paper return different citation counts?
Where Scopus returns multiple matches for different formats of the same output, you should not confirm the match and should contact Scopus user support (via the REF submission system). Scopus user support will be able to create a single record for the output which consolidates citations for both formats. You will then be able to match this new record against the output within the submission system.
If an individual is eligible for inclusion by multiple HEIs, can each HEI submit that individual with the same research outputs?
Yes. As stated at paragraph 79f of the 'guidance on submissions', an individual may be returned as Category A by more than one HEI if they have a contract with and receive a salary from more than one HEI. The same research outputs may, but need not be, listed in each submission.
How should eligible 'online first' journal articles be returned to the REF?
Online first journal articles should be returned as output type 'D - Journal article'. The REF team recognises that some of the meta-data may not be available for an online first publication, but sufficient information must be provided to enable the REF team to identify the output.
There may be some fields for which data is not available, that are mandatory for type D outputs (e.g. first page, volume number). These fields should be completed with ‘n/a’ to allow the submission to be made. You will not be able to submit without completing these mandatory fields.
For a research output that is a product, what is considered the date it first became publicly available?
If submitting a product (output type = ‘P’) the date that the product was produced would be considered the date it became publicly available in the form in which it is submitted (see the ‘Output information requirements’ spreadsheet, available for download on the 'Submission system data requirements' page ).
In what circumstances can a related series of items be submitted as a single research output?
Separately published papers are discrete outputs and cannot be grouped together as a single output. Substantial dictionary or encyclopaedia entries and groups of short items including groups of entries may be submitted as a single output (see paragraph 51, Part2D of the ‘panel criteria’).
What output type should a 'portfolio' be submitted as?
A portfolio is not an output type in itself but is the format in which the evidence of certain outputs can be submitted (see paragraph 59 of Part2C and paragraph 71d, Part2D of the ‘panel criteria’.) For example, an output that is a performance or exhibition may be submitted in the form of a portfolio of evidence. Where submitting a portfolio, the most applicable output type should be used, and the ‘media’ field should be used to state that a portfolio will be submitted (see the ‘Output information requirements’ spreadsheet, available for download on the 'Submission system data requirements' page).
How will a research output submitted multiple times, to the same or different Units of Assessment (UOAs), be assessed?
Where a research output is submitted multiple times to the same UOA, it will normally be allocated to the same individuals on the sub-panel and reviewed only once (although the additional information may differ). Please note, an output may only be submitted a maximum of 2 times within one submission.
If a research output is submitted to multiple UOAs, it will be assessed by each of the sub-panels according to their respective criteria, including in terms of its significance to the disciplines concerned. The output will not, therefore, necessarily receive the same quality score.
What is the outcome if a sub-panel considers an individual has not made a substantial contribution to a co-authored research output returned against them?
If the sub-panel considers that the individual may not have made a substantial research contribution to the output and there is not sufficient evidence in the submission to make an informed judgement about this, the sub-panel will raise an audit query. The HEI will then be asked to explain the individual’s research contribution, and provide any appropriate evidence. The sub-panel will consider all the information provided before deciding. (Note that in situations where this information has already been requested as part of the submission, for example for sub-panel 9 where there are more than 10 co-authors, the sub-panel will normally decide on the basis of the submitted information without any further audit query.) If the sub-panel does not accept that the individual made a substantial research contribution, the output will be graded as ‘unclassified’ (see paragraph 126e, Part 1 of the ‘panel criteria’.)
If an output pre-published in 2007 was submitted to the RAE 2008 by a different institution or in a different UOA, can it be submitted in final form to the 2014 REF?
See paragraph 43 of the ‘panel criteria’. The final proviso should be interpreted to mean that such an output is eligible for submission to the REF, provided that the ‘pre-published’ output was not submitted to the 2008 RAE by the same institution, or was not listed against the same member of staff (if they were in a different institution at the time).
Are 'online first' journal articles that are not published in hard copy by 31 December 2013 eligible for inclusion in the REF?
Yes, 'online first' and other pre-published outputs that are in the public domain during the publication period (1 January 2008 – 31 December 2013) are eligible for submission.
What output information is required for patents and patent applications?
Both a granted patent and a published patent application are eligible as research outputs. If you are submitting a granted patent you should include the patent number and date of the granted patent; if you are submitting a published patent application you should include the publication number and the date that this was published. Where a patent application was submitted to the 2008 RAE, the granted patent is not eligible for return to the REF.
How will journal impact factors, rankings or lists, or the perceived standing of publishers be used to inform the assessment of research outputs?
No sub-panel will make any use of journal impact factors, rankings, lists or the perceived standing of publishers in assessing the quality of research outputs. An underpinning principle of the REF is that all types of research and all forms of research outputs across all disciplines shall be assessed on a fair and equal basis.
What kind of outputs can be categorised as a 'working paper' (Output type = 'U')?
A working paper is often written in the style of a journal article, is usually made freely available on line, may not have been peer reviewed, and has not yet been formally published (typically, in a journal). Working papers will not have a Digital Object Identifier. The use of working papers is more prevalent within certain research communities, for example ArXiv is often used in particular disciplines. The output must still meet the eligibility definitions described in 'guidance on submissions'.
Can an output authored by a member of staff before they became eligible for submission to the REF (or before they met the definition of an early career researcher) be listed against that member of staff?