Metrics in research assessment

03 April 2014

Commenting on the launch of the review into the role of metrics in research assessment, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome the fact that the Government has asked for an independent review into the role that metrics can play in assessing the quality of research from UK universities. Despite having only 4% of the world’s researchers, the UK generates 12% of citations and 16% of the most cited papers, and was recently ranked the best country in the world for the quality of its research. The last large-scale research assessment showed that more than two-thirds of the UK’s very best research took place in Russell Group universities, and therefore we take a keen interest in how research is assessed in the UK and internationally.

“The dual support funding system is vital to sustaining research of the highest quality in the UK. The combination of stable core funding through the funding councils, and competitively awarded grants from the Research Councils ensures the diversity and breadth of research in the UK.

“It is essential that research assessment is based upon the latest thinking and evidence and has the confidence of the higher education sector and other stakeholders, in all countries of the UK and internationally.

“It is also imperative that the review takes into account the variability across disciplines, the impact on younger researchers or those who have had a career break and the diverse range of research publications. The review should also examine how far metrics can be used to measure the quality of research, which is not necessarily linked to its influence or citation count.

“We look forward to contributing more to this discussion over the coming months.”

Note to Editors

  1. You can read the original announcement on the HEFCE website here.

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