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Introduction to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise publishing of submissions

1. The 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was a UK-wide undertaking, whereby each publicly funded university and higher education college in the UK was invited to submit information about their research activity for assessment. Information provided was assessed and quality ratings were awarded for all subjects in which research was submitted. Further information about the criteria that were employed by assessment panels can be viewed in the Guidance for institutions section.

2. These data were collected by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf of the four UK funding bodies. The information largely relates to a five-year period, running from the last RAE in 1996. The data can be searched on-line or sections downloaded. Alternatively, the entire database is available on CD. For details about how to purchase a copy of the CD, see the publications section of the HEFCE website at www.hefce.ac.uk.

3. The data have been checked in the following ways since the submission date, and amendments have been made as follows:

  1. During May/June 2001 the HEFCE sent each institution a printout of its electronic submissions to verify that the information held by the HEFCE was the same as that submitted.

  2. The RAE team followed up any queries from individual panels about the data quality.

  3. A sample of submissions were checked in detail during autumn 2001.

  4. A number of other comparisons and crosschecks with other data sources were also carried out.

4. Users of the information provided on this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK.

  1. Only publicly funded universities and higher education colleges in the UK were eligible to submit information to the RAE 2001, and are included.

  2. Information about individuals who were actively engaged in research, on the census date (31 March 2001) or at some point from 1 January 1996 to the census date, is provided.

  3. It was left to each institution to decide which subjects (and therefore which units of assessment) it should put forward for assessment, and which members of staff to include as research active in each submission. Individuals were not free to decide whether their work was submitted to the RAE, what was submitted or how much was submitted. Due to the discretion given to institutions as to what is submitted for assessment, lists of names of individuals in each submission do not necessarily constitute a full list of staff or indeed of those staff engaged with research.

    It should be noted that the sole purpose of data is to enable scrutiny of the grades given by the RAE2001 panels. The final research rating is awarded to the submission as a whole, and cannot be attributed to each individual active researcher within that submission. We therefore consider it illegitimate to make inferences concerning either individuals’ engagement with research or the quality of research from these data except inasmuch as the RAE result may indicate the quality of the environment in which they work. We further consider that, were decisions to be made on the basis of such inferences, there is a significant risk of unfairness towards the individuals affected by those decisions.

  4. Due to their confidential nature, sections RA5c (Research strategy), RA6b (Individual staff circumstances) and RA6c (Contributions by non research-active staff) have been removed. It should be noted that in some cases section RA5a (Structure, environment & staffing policy) may not be in the complete form that panels viewed it, as confidential sections may have been removed, and similarly with RA6. Because some institutions included most of the relevant information under the confidential sections, the published record may be less full in these cases than in others.

  5. In a small number of instances, information about researchers and their work has been removed where publication of such information could potentially be to the detriment of their personal safety. Also, in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act, personal and employment details pertaining to individuals listed in Form RA1(Staff details) have been removed, although aggregates of the categories of staff and research students and research assistant numbers have been provided. Details of all research outputs in the Confidential Report category of Form RA2 (Research outputs) have also been removed.

Last updated 21 May 2002

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