David Sweeney: UK right to pursue impact agenda | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Mr Sweeney’s powerful influence in steering the UK sector towards open-access research is a key part of his legacy, helping to set up the Finch report in 2011, which later laid down the “unanswerable” principle that “results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain”. As UK Research and Innovation’s lead on open access, Sweeney was also influential in ensuring the funder was an early supporter of Plan S, the Europe-wide open access drive, while UKRI’s own policies, which took effect in April, pushed requirements further. “The Finch report was significant and moved the dial on open access but without this global collaboration we won’t be able to move the system further,” he reflected….”

Assessing the Impact of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework on the Relationship between University Scholarly Output and Education and Regional Economic Growth | Academy of Management Learning & Education

Abstract:  This paper assesses the relationship between stakeholder influence, university scholarly and educational output, and regional economic growth. Specifically, we theorize that stakeholder intervention with respect to university teaching and learning, scholarly research, and entrepreneurship enhances the contribution of universities to regional economic growth. We test this theory using data from the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), an evaluation of the research impact of British higher education institutions. We find that business school graduates, as well as graduates in STEM and health fields, have a positive impact on regional human capital development. On the other hand, stakeholder influence, through the REF, appears to have a negative effect on the retention of human capital, but a positive effect on commercialization in the region. Our findings provide new evidence of positive economic spillovers arising from university research and education and the role of fields, such as business administration, in enhancing human capital development and economic growth. They also lend credence to the notion that graduates are an important channel of knowledge and technology transfer.

 

Future Research Assessment Programme – UKRI

“The Future Research Assessment Programme has been initiated at the request of UK and devolved government ministers and funding bodies.

This significant piece of work will be led by the four UK higher education funding bodies:

Research England
Scottish Funding Council
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Department for the Economy, NI.

It aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance.

Through dialogue with the higher education sector, the programme seeks to understand what a healthy, thriving research system looks like and how an assessment model can best form its foundation.

The work strands include evaluating the REF 2021, understanding international research assessment practice, and well investigating possible evaluation models and approaches, to identify those that can encourage and strengthen the emphasis on delivering excellent research and impact, and support a positive research culture, while simplifying and reducing the administrative burden on the HE sector.

This programme of work is expected to conclude by late 2022….”

Open Access Monographs: Making Mandates Reality Tickets, Thu 23 Jun 2022 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

“This half-day webinar galvanises a much-needed sector-wide conversation on OA monographs in the context of the UK’s policy landscape. Expert panels of speakers from the library, publishing and policy worlds will outline the current state-of-play and discuss how we can move to meet the imminent OA mandates from cOAlition S/Plan S in Europe and UKRI in the UK, and potential implications of the REF.

Featuring expert speakers from UKRI (Rachel Bruce) and Jisc (Caren Milloy), the event will open with a discussion of monograph policies and mandates before moving to an academic viewpoint from Professor Martin Eve (Birkbeck, University of London) who will talk about various international OA funding models and the need to move quickly from pilot phases to business as usual.

The second half of the session will highlight the challenges of getting OA metadata into supply chains and systems often designed for closed books, and will discuss the concomitant challenges posed by metrics and reporting on OA books (speakers TBC). The afternoon will close with a view from the library perspective and expert speakers from the libraries at the Universities of York (Sarah Thompson), Aberdeen (Simon Bains) and Imperial College (Chris Banks). There will be time for Q&A after each set of speakers….”

Evaluating research assessment | Jisc

“A large-scale review, commissioned by Research England on behalf of the four higher education funding bodies and published by RAND Europe, collected attitudes to the REF in real time as UK institutions prepared their submissions. It gathered views via a survey (with 3,000+ researcher responses), as well as focus groups and one-to-one interviews with researchers, research managers, and institutional leads.

The review also considered the impact of changes made to the REF since the previous exercise in 2014….”

Industry not harvest: Principles to minimise collateral damage in impact assessment at scale | Impact of Social Sciences

“As the UK closes the curtains on the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021) and embarks on another round of consultation, there is little doubt that, whatever the outcome, the expectation remains that research should be shown to be delivering impact. If anything, this expectation is only intensifying. Fuelled by the stated success of REF 2014, the appetite for impact assessment also appears – at least superficially – to be increasing internationally, albeit largely stopping short of mirroring a fully formalised REF-type model. Within this context, the UK’s Future Research Assessment Programme was recently announced, with a remit to explore revised or alternative approaches. Everything is on the table, so we are told, and the programme sensibly includes the convening of an external body of international advisors to cast their, hopefully less jaded eyes upon proceedings….”

 

Tool to Support with REF2021 Open Access Compliance has been released in the New Version of the CORE Repository Dashboard – CORE

“CORE is happy to announce the release of a new version of the CORE Repository Dashboard. The update will be of particular interest to UK repositories as we are releasing with it a new tool to support REF2021 open access compliance assessment. The tool was developed for repository managers and research administrators to improve the harvesting of their repository outputs and ensure their content is visible to the world. Full details here.”

The never-ending story | Research Information

“At the same time, the REF open access mandate had just been announced, stating journal articles and some conference proceedings had to be publicly accessible within three months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for submission for the post-2014 research excellence framework. Given the double-whammy of easier depositing and REF urgency, WestminsterResearch saw self-deposits rocket from less than one per cent to more than 99 per cent while practice-based/non text-based entries mushroomed by 246 per cent.

‘The Haplo repository and REF open access mandate came at a similar time and the combined power of both led to this massive increase in self-deposits,’ highlights Watts. 

‘The mandates really helped people to comply to open access,’ she adds. ‘And we believe that factors contributing to more practice-based research included vastly improved templates and fields for these outputs… in the past, the repository just couldn’t take this content.’

Following these results and the looming REF2021, WestminsterResearch switched to a full Haplo open source-set up in 2018, and entries have continued to rise. As Watts put it: ‘I don’t think we’d have been able to support the increase in open access deposits without this rise in self-depositing.’…”

The never-ending story | Research Information

“At the same time, the REF open access mandate had just been announced, stating journal articles and some conference proceedings had to be publicly accessible within three months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for submission for the post-2014 research excellence framework. Given the double-whammy of easier depositing and REF urgency, WestminsterResearch saw self-deposits rocket from less than one per cent to more than 99 per cent while practice-based/non text-based entries mushroomed by 246 per cent.

‘The Haplo repository and REF open access mandate came at a similar time and the combined power of both led to this massive increase in self-deposits,’ highlights Watts. 

‘The mandates really helped people to comply to open access,’ she adds. ‘And we believe that factors contributing to more practice-based research included vastly improved templates and fields for these outputs… in the past, the repository just couldn’t take this content.’

Following these results and the looming REF2021, WestminsterResearch switched to a full Haplo open source-set up in 2018, and entries have continued to rise. As Watts put it: ‘I don’t think we’d have been able to support the increase in open access deposits without this rise in self-depositing.’…”

December 2019 open access update now available | Jisc scholarly communications

“A range of enhancement reports in this issue. To pick a couple: we are delighted to report that Publications Router is now receiving feeds from 11 publishers and feedback from users suggests that the service is increasing in importance to institutional workflows. We are also very pleased to have added nearly 900 new repositories to OpenDOAR after working with CORE colleagues and carrying out some extensive QA work to resolve previously unlisted repositories. As the dust from the general election settles and policies are announced, we are looking forward to using the capabilities we have built into our new Romeo infrastructure to respond to national policy compliance. We talked a little about this at our recent event on “Planning for Plan-S”, which was well received by attendees with some good conversations and thinking about the challenge, and all this in the midst of REF preparations.  The event has given us some very useful feedback for future institutional needs. As we go forward into REF and Plan S next year, we will all face challenges and changes, but we are here to support you throughout. As ever, get in touch with us and tell us about the way you use our services: what you like, what you don’t like and anything you would like to see improved….”

A look at prediction markets | Research Information

“Assessing the quality of research is difficult. Jisc and the University of Bristol are partnering to develop a tool that may help institutions improve this process.  

To attract government funding for their crucial research, UK universities are largely reliant on good ratings from the Research Excellent Framework (REF) – a process of expert review designed to assess the quality of research outputs. REF scores determine how much government funding will be allocated to their research projects. For instance, research that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour, will be scored higher than research that is only recognised nationally. 
 
Considerable time is spent by universities trying to figure out which research outputs will be rated highest (4*) on quality and impact. The recognised ‘gold standard’ for this process is close reading by a few internal academics, but this is time-consuming, onerous, and subject to the relatively limited perspective of just a few people.  …

Prediction markets capture the ‘wisdom of crowds’ by asking large numbers of people to bet on outcomes of future events – in this case how impactful a research project will be in the next REF assessment. It works a bit like the stock market, except that, instead of buying and selling shares in companies, participants buy and sell virtual shares online that will pay out if a particular event occurs – for instance, if a paper receives a 3* or above REF rating.  …”

REF Assistant, Goldsmiths, University of London

“We are seeking a REF Assistant to join the Online Research Collections team at Goldsmiths, University of London to provide valuable support to Goldsmiths’ REF 2021 submission. The successful candidate will work closely with REF Project Officers and Open Access Advisor to organise research outputs for REF 2021. You will be responsible for adding, editing and reviewing metadata of items on Goldsmiths Research Online (GRO), our institutional Open Access repository. You will help gather information on Open Access compliance for REF 2021. As a highly organised individual, you will help produce practice research outputs and collate material for the final REF submission. The post will require you to communicate effectively, confidently and clearly with academics and professional services staff on REF 2021, Open Access and Goldsmiths Research Online….”

Promoting openness – Research Professional News

“Of the potential solutions, open research practices are among the most promising. The argument is that transparency acts as an implicit quality control process. If others are able to scrutinise our work—not just the final published output, but the underlying data, code, and so on—researchers will be incentivised to ensure these are high quality.

So, if we think that research could benefit from improved quality control, and if we think that open research might have a role to play in this, why aren’t we all doing it? In a word: incentives….”