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Criteria and Working Methods

ANNEX A

Definition of Research

The definition of research which applies in the exercise is:

'Research' for the purpose of the RAE is to be understood as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding. It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce and industry, as well as to the public and voluntary sectors; scholarship*; the invention and generation of ideas, images, performances and artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights; and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction. It excludes routine testing and analysis of materials, components and processes, e.g. for the maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It also excludes the development of teaching materials that do not embody original research.

* Scholarship for the RAE is defined as the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines, in forms such as dictionaries, scholarly editions, catalogues and contributions to major research databases.

ANNEX B

Content of Submissions

The content of submissions is summarised below. The number of the relevant RAE form in which the information will be presented is given in brackets for ease of reference. Detailed notes on and definitions of the information required are given in Section 3. Any additional information requirements will be agreed by panels and published in their statements of criteria and working methods.

  1. Overall staff summary (RA0)

    Summary information on all academic staff and academic support staff in each submitting institution.

  2. Research active staff details (RA1)

    Detailed information on academic staff selected by the institution for inclusion as research active.

  3. Research output (RA2)

    For each member of staff named as research active and in post on 31 March 2001, up to four items of research output produced during the period 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2000 in the case of arts and humanities subjects (UoAs 45 to 67 inclusive); and 1 January 1996 to 31 December 2000 in the case of other subjects (UoAs 1 to 44, 68 and 69).

  4. Research students (RA3a)

    Numbers of full-time and part-time postgraduate research students and degrees awarded.

  5. Research studentships (RA3b)

    Numbers of postgraduate research studentships and source of funding.

  6. External research income (RA4)

    Amounts and sources of external funding.

  7. Research environment (RA5)

    Including information about the structure, policies and strategies within which research is undertaken and developed.

  8. General observations and additional information (RA6)

    Including information about indicators of research excellence and peer esteem which cannot be given elsewhere in the return.

ANNEX C

The Rating Scale and Descriptions

The following rating scale and accompanying descriptions will be used for the 2001 RAE.

5*Quality that equates to attainable levels of international excellence in more than half of the research activity submitted and attainable levels of national excellence in the remainder.
5Quality that equates to attainable levels of international excellence in up to half of the research activity submitted and to attainable levels of national excellence in virtually all of the remainder.
4Quality that equates to attainable levels of national excellence in virtually all of the research activity submitted, showing some evidence of international excellence.
3aQuality that equates to attainable levels of national excellence in over two thirds of the research activity submitted, possibly showing evidence of international excellence.
3bQuality that equates to attainable levels of national excellence in more than half of the research activity submitted.
2Quality that equates to attainable levels of national excellence in up to half of the research activity submitted.
1Quality that equates to attainable levels of national excellence in none, or virtually none, of the research activity submitted.

Notes:

2.2 Panels will use their judgement in applying the descriptions attached to points on the rating scale. They will form a view on the quality of all the research activity presented in a submission in the round.

2.3 In order to attain a point on the scale a submission should exceed the requirements of the next lowest point. For example, in the description of 5, "up to half" implies more than the maximum for "some" required for a grade 4.

2.4 Panels may form a view that the balance of quality justifies the award of a particular grade even where the precise terms of the descriptions are not met. For example, a submission which considerably exceeds the required proportion of international excellence but does not meet the requirement for national excellence in the remainder would receive the grade which the panel felt was justified on balance.

2.5 Attainable levels of excellence refer to absolute standards of quality in each unit of assessment, and are independent of the conditions for research within individual institutions.

2.6 The international criterion adopted should equate to a level of excellence that it is reasonable to expect for the unit of assessment, even though there may be no current examples of such a level whether in the UK or elsewhere. In the absence of current examples, standards in cognate research areas where international comparisons do exist will need to be adopted. It should be noted that national and international refer to standards, not to the nature or scope of particular disciplines.

2.7 "Virtually all" and "virtually none" should be understood as within the top and bottom 10% respectively. Some should be understood as around 10%.

2.8 For the Research Assessment Exercise, "national" refers to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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Last updated 4 June 1999

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