Are you Research Excellent?

The UK’s nation­al Research Excel­lence Frame­work (REF) assess­ment is loom­ing. The for­mal dead­line is in 2021, but many will be already feel­ing the pres­sures in their insti­tu­tions and depart­ments to be mak­ing sense of their work in terms of REF’s met­rics and procedures.
I’ve found myself entan­gled in this world of REF recent­ly and want­i­ng to be able to make com­par­isons between insti­tu­tions and their “Units of Assess­ment” (REFs clas­si­fi­ca­tion of research dis­ci­plines and fields).
Using this pub­licly avail­able data, I’ve built a lit­tle tool to see how an insti­tu­tion’s unit of assess­ment did in the last assess­ment (cir­ca 2014) and view this against oth­er UoA results. 

screen grab of REF comparison tool

For now, I’m just visu­al­is­ing data from two units of assess­ment, Soci­ol­o­gy and Com­put­er Sci­ences and Infor­mat­ics.
You can com­pare your own insti­tu­tion’s Soci­ol­o­gy or Com­put­er Sci­ence scores against oth­ers’ in terms of Out­puts, Impact and Envi­ron­ment (the REF assess­ment profiles). 
I post this sen­si­tive to the trou­bles and com­pli­ca­tions that come with enact­ing aca­d­e­m­ic life using these sys­tems of account­ing. I’m grate­ful to Effie Le Moignan for remind­ing me of the troubles.

Talk at INCITE-ing Transformation in Social Research

On Sat­ur­day (12 Oct) I pre­sent­ed a short paper reflect­ing on INCITE’s achieve­ments over the last 10 or so years at “INCITE-ing Trans­for­ma­tion in Social Research
Ref­er­enc­ing her New Media’s Inter­me­di­aries arti­cle, I want to glimpse back to reflect on how Nina Wake­ford posi­tioned INCITE and made sense of it against a back drop of cul­tur­al the­o­ry, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy stud­ies, CSCW and sociology
.. And, in doing this, I also want to peer for­ward, to con­sid­er what trou­bles there might be ahead, and what pro­duc­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties we might imag­ine for our­selves. (more…)