The deadline for submissions to the REF from UK higher education institutions passed on 29 November 2013.
This page provides details of the guidance and procedures for making submissions.
Institutions were required to make submissions through an online system by midday on 29 November 2013. The submission system will be available in a read-only state.
Key guidance documents
Assessment framework and guidance on submissions (REF 02.2011) provides an overview of the REF assessment framework and guidance to institutions on preparing their submissions. It includes guidance on procedures, the data requirements and definitions that apply in making submissions.
Panel criteria and working methods (REF 01.2012) sets out how the REF panels will assess submissions, and includes further guidance on the information required in textual parts of submissions.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the REF are available.
The following supplementary guidance about submission procedures is available:
- Submission system data requirements: sets out the data requirements for REF import files, provides import file templates, and lists the data requirements for different types of research outputs.
- Submitting research outputs: details the requirements for providing outputs, to be uploaded as PDFs or deposited as physical outputs. This was updated to include guidance on labelling, packaging and depositing research outputs in July 2013.
- Citation data: provides details about the technical approach to providing citation data within the REF submission system, and further guidance on the contextual data that will be provided to panels.
- REF4 Environment data: provides further information on how to submit environment data to REF4a/b/c and how the REF submission system will validate this.
- Data management: provides information on the submission and use of data in the REF, including personal, sensitive and confidential data, and how institutions should redact parts of submissions prior to publication.
- Audit and data verification: sets out the principles for REF audit and the approach to verification of different aspects of REF submissions. This was updated in July 2013.
- REF submission system user guide: provides guidance on using the submission system and includes a full list of system validation rules.
Each institution has designated REF contacts:
- A main contact: to act as the primary point of contact between the institution and the REF team on all updates and enquires relating to REF policies and guidelines. Their details are available on our searchable contact list.
- A technical contact: to act as the institution's main contact with the REF team regarding the REF submission software and system support. To find out who the technical contact is for your institution please contact your institution's main REF contact.
- Two audit contacts: to act as the primary point of contact for audit requests on submissions data. The audit contacts are responsible for providing evidence to verify information provided in the submission, where requested.
The REF team held briefing events for REF contacts during September 2011 and in May 2012.