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Briefing Note 5

Confidential Research Outputs

1. This briefing note sets out the arrangements for submitting confidential research outputs to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. It should be read in conjunction with RAE 2/99, Guidance on Submissions.

2. Normally all research outputs listed in RAE submissions must be in the public domain. The sole exception is where they are confidential. Examples include research reports produced for companies, for policy-making organisations or for other research sponsors which have not been published because of their commercial or other sensitivity.

3. All confidential outputs, regardless of their form, must be listed in submissions under the category "Confidential Reports". Only items returned in this category will be subject to the arrangements set out in this note. The list of items in the confidential reports category will be omitted from submissions when they are published on the internet following completion of the assessment process.

4. Confidential outputs may only be submitted with the permission of the sponsor(s) or other organisation(s) to whom the research is confidential. A pro-forma letter is available for this purpose (see below or contact the RAE Team). Such a letter must accompany an institutions submission in respect of each confidential output submitted. The letter should be signed by the head of the submitting institution and by the appropriate authority from the sponsoring or commissioning organisation. In the case of multiple sponsors one letter of permission should be supplied for each sponsor.

5. Institutions must be able to supply, on demand from the RAE Team, a copy of any confidential output. These must be stamped "Confidential" on each page including the covers. In addition, the RAE Team will attach a cover sheet to the output before passing it to panels for assessment. Outputs will be returned to the institution following completion of the assessment work.

6. All panel members, advisers, observers and others involved in the assessment process are bound by a confidentiality agreement. This means that institutions may submit confidential work without compromising their intellectual property rights and without prejudicing any subsequent patent application or other registerable rights.

7. There may be some panel members who would have a commercial conflict of interest in assessing particular research outputs (for example, an employee of a rival company to that sponsoring the research). Where an institution believes that this is the case it must indicate so on the permission letter. Subject to confirmation of the conflict of interest by the RAE Manager the panel member concerned will not be given access to the output(s) concerned nor take part in its assessment. Commercial conflict of interest is the only circumstance in which an institution may request a restriction on the panel's access to a confidential output. The up to date list of panel members is available at http://www.rae.ac.uk and institutions are encouraged to discuss this matter with their research sponsors when seeking permission to submit.

8. For further information please contact:

The RAE team,
Northavon House,
Bristol BS16 1QD

Email: rae@hefce.ac.uk

Download proforma letter as:


Last updated 28 July 2000

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