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The Research Assessment Squeeze

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The Research Assessment Squeeze

The publication of the REF 2014 results and the trumpeting of ‘excellence’ and rank order position by the ‘winners’ should not be allowed to over-ride what is being lost in the reduction of scholarship and research to audit-able ‘outputs’ and ‘impacts’. Derek Sayer has written powerfully about its weaknesses as a ‘peer review’ system of evaluation, which is the means by which it claims legitimacy and invokes a collegiality it serves to undermine. For those who believe metricisation may be the answer, Ben Martin, Paul Nightingale and Ismael Rafols of the Science Policy Research Unit at University of Sussex provide a careful evaluation and dismantling of its promise in their submission to the HEFCE Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment. For his part, John Holmwood shows how metricisation is entering into the determination of University research strategies and the performance review of individual academics to deepen the deleterious effects identified by Sayer.

Time for the pips to squeak out!

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