The Rating Scale and Descriptions
2.1. The following rating scale and accompanying descriptions will be used for the 2001 RAE.
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 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.
Last updated 15 September 2000