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…)