20 March 2001
Heads of HEFCE Funded Institutions
Submissions to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise
I am writing with regard to the arrangements for making submissions to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and the subsequent verification arrangements. This letter has also been sent to the designated RAE contact in your institution.
Process for making submissions
The closing date for receipt of submissions is 30 April 2001. All submissions must reach me at the HEFCE offices in Bristol not later than 1700 hours on that date. Because of the tight deadlines to which our assessment panels must work I regret that it will not be possible to consider any submissions which are received after this time.
Submissions should be made using the Research Assessment Exercise data application (RDA) which was issued to all institutions in July 2000. An electronic file containing all submissions which an institution wishes to make should be sent. Annex A outlines the process you should follow for preparing this file and specifies the media on which it should be sent.
In addition to the electronic version you should supply one printed copy of all your submissions. This should be accompanied by a copy of the pro forma which is enclosed with this letter at Annex B signed by you as head of the institution or your authorised deputy. We require the printed version in order that we may check against a definitive source should any query arise about the accuracy, content or format of data processed by us.
Confirmation of receipt
Following the receipt of your submissions we will virus check the media that you have sent and process the contents onto our database. Your nominated RAE contact will receive notification via e-mail when this has been successfully completed. This notification should take place by e-mail by 4 May 2001. The e-mail will contain an Excel file listing the submissions which we have received from your institution. For each of these submissions we will indicate the forms that have been received, and summarise the total FTE number of Category A staff in that submission, and the total number of research outputs listed. You should check this against your records and report any discrepancies to me immediately (tel 0117 931 7237).
Presentation of data to panels
Before presenting any submissions to panels, we will re-run the validation checks that are built into the RDA. Any submissions that display a high number of errors may be withheld from panels. We will telephone RAE contacts immediately should this situation arise.
In order to check compliance with the length limits for forms RA5 and RA6, the text will be converted to 10 point Arial font with single line spacing. The page size will be set at A4 with one-inch margins all round, using an HP Laserjet 4Si/4Si MX PS printer driver. (Please note, however, that this conversion is for length verification only - panels will be presented with the text as formatted by you.) Any submissions that exceed the length limit based on this test will be truncated at the limit.
The information presented to panels will contain all the items of data and other information which you have submitted except the gender data from form RA1. In addition, we will provide short briefing notes to panels explaining the standard analyses and the income-in-kind from the use of Research Council central facilities.
Verification of submissions
There are two parts to our arrangements for verifying your submissions. The first is to provide you with assurance that your submissions have been correctly processed by us and transmitted to panels. The second is to verify the accuracy of the data and information that you have returned. This latter part of the process has been set out in RAE 3/00 - Data Checking and Verification Arrangements, and will take place from late May to September 2001. This letter, therefore, is concerned only with the first part of the verification process. You may wish to note, however, that as part of the arrangements set out in RAE 3/00 we will be testing the information provided in RA2 against the Institute for Scientific Information database and other major bibliographic sources. This work will be carried out on behalf of the funding bodies by Evidence Ltd. Taken together with our other verification checks this will enable us to check the accuracy and eligibility of all items listed in RA2.
We will be transferring all of your submissions onto a central database and will use that to generate printed copies of the submissions for assessment by our panels. We will send you a copy of your submissions drawn from our database. This is provided for the purpose of verification and will be sent to you by first class post between 11 June and 22 June.
You will be asked to check the material against your original submissions and to confirm that the information matches your submissions. Please note that only any processing errors on our part will be corrected. No other changes or corrections to submissions will be accepted. You will have 2 weeks from the date of issue of the verification pack in which to notify us of any errors. We expect to complete this stage of the verification process by 10 July 2001.
By signing off the data at this stage in the verification process, you will be confirming that:
Confidentiality of data
The information contained within your submissions to the RAE will be treated as confidential until the assessment process is complete. In the meantime data will only be released to individuals and organisations commissioned to work on our behalf. After the assessment process is complete, parts of the data will be published in summary form for the Outcome circular, and then published in detail on the Internet in Spring 2002.
We have identified, as previously notified to you, a subset of the data that will remain confidential even after publication. This consists of all information which is presented in forms RA5c, Research Strategy and RA6b, Individual Staff Circumstances. It also includes details of research outputs included in form RA2 in Category I ‘Confidential report for external body’. In addition, we will give you an opportunity during this summer to identify any part of your submissions which you believe should not be published for reasons of security. In such circumstances, all details relating to the researchers and/or research work involved will be removed from forms RA1, RA2, RA5 and RA6 as appropriate.
If you require any further information on the arrangements for making submissions to the RAE please do not hesitate to contact me or my team.
Dr John Rogers
c.c RAE Contacts
Last updated 26 March 2001