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Another UoA

Section III: Panelsí Criteria and Working Methods


3.8 Other Studies and Professions Allied to Medicine, UoA 11

UoA Descriptor

3.8.1 The unit of assessment covers the following subject areas: biomedical sciences; nutrition; optometry; radiography; occupational therapy; physiotherapy; speech and language therapy; art, music and drama therapy; health promotion; and other studies and professions allied to medicine.

UoA Boundaries

3.8.2 Where a submission covers subject areas outside the Panel's remit, the Panel will refer the submission to the appropriate assessment panel(s) for advice. The whole submission will be made available to the other assessment panel(s), although the Panel may ask the other panel(s) specific questions about the submission or part of it.

3.8.3 The Panel will expect to receive submissions from the other assessment panels for advice where these submissions include subject areas within the Panel's remit. In these cases, two members of the Panel will be assigned to review the submission and provide advice to the other assessment panels.

Sub-Panels

3.8.4 In recognition of the multi-disciplinary nature of submissions likely to be received by the Panel and of the overlapping methodologies being used, particularly across the therapies, the Panel does not intend to establish sub-panels. The membership of the Panel has been carefully composed to reflect the range of subject areas within the Panel's remit. In addition, extensive use will be made of specialist advisers to support the panel members in specific subject areas where required. The Panel will ensure that no discipline is disadvantaged by a lack of subject expertise in a specific area.

Interdisciplinary Research

3.8.5 The procedure for assessing interdisciplinary submissions which cover subjects within the Panel's remit will be the same as for single discipline submissions. Two panel members - a lead and second assessor - will be identified from appropriate subject areas to review the submission in detail and additional specialist advice will be sought as appropriate. Where the interdisciplinary submission covers subject areas outside the Panel's remit, the cross-referral procedure will be followed.

Joint Submissions

3.8.6 The Panel will assess joint submissions in the same way as submissions from single institutions. The Panel will expect the nature and the extent of the collaboration between institutions to be clearly identified in form RA5.

Treatment of Evidence

3.8.7 The quality of submissions will be judged on the basis of:

  1. The quality of the publications and other research output cited;
  2. The extent of research activity as indicated by the number of research assistants and research fellows, research students, research degrees awarded and research studentships, and the amount of external research funding;
  3. The vitality of the research environment and its prospects for continuing development as indicated by the information provided in forms RA5 and RA6.

3.8.8 These three areas will be regarded by the Panel to be of equal importance.

Research Output (RA2)

3.8.9 The Panel will expect to receive the following types of output:

  1. Journal articles;
  2. Books;
  3. Chapters in books;
  4. Papers in published refereed conference proceedings;
  5. Items of other research output appropriate to the particular discipline, including those of relevance to users.

3.8.10 The Panel will not rank different types of output.

3.8.11 The Panel will read widely including a sample of 25% of the work from each submission. All members of the Panel will review all submissions.

3.8.12 Where appropriate, the refereeing standards of journals will be used as one indicator of research quality. In these cases, the Panel collectively will examine in detail a sample of 25% of this submitted work from each submission.

3.8.13 Publications or other items of research output which have not been subject to a review or refereeing process will not be regarded as being of lesser quality. In these cases, the Panel will review all the submitted work.

3.8.14 The Panel will not collectively rank journals but individual panel members will be guided by their informed views on the refereeing standards of journals within the particular subject area. Review articles, as with other published work, will be considered in terms of the extent to which they make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field.

3.8.15 In assessing the quality of submitted work, the Panel will base its assessment on the originality, contribution to advancing knowledge and understanding, impact on the discipline (including, where relevant, on policy and practice), scope, methodological strength and scholarly rigour of the work.

3.8.16 All types of research output submitted will be assessed in terms of the extent to which it is of international, national or sub-national standing. The Panel defines international excellence as being research which is likely to be accessed by researchers in those countries which are at the leading edge of the research in the particular field. National excellence is defined as being research which is likely to be accessed by researchers nationally, beyond the region, but which is unlikely to have a substantial international readership or audience.

3.8.17 The Panel will take full note of the quality of research of particular relevance to users. Whilst much of this type of work might eventually be published in academic journals, the Panel accepts that there may be a time delay and a significant proportion of such work may be disseminated through other forms of output.

3.8.18 Pedagogic research will be treated on an equal basis to other types of research and will be assessed on the basis of quality as outlined above.

3.8.19 The Panel expects four items of research output to be cited for each established researcher. HEIs should provide an explanation in form RA6 of the reasons why any researchers have cited fewer than four items of output, for example where researchers have been recently appointed, have had career breaks, or hold part-time or joint appointments.

3.8.20 The Panel normally expects four different items of research output to be cited for each researcher. Where the same item of output is cited by more than one researcher, the reasons for this should be given using the 'Other relevant details' field on form RA2. In assessing the quality of the research, the Panel will not treat co-authored work any differently from single-authored work and will not take the order of authorship into consideration.

Research Students and Research Studentships (RA3)

3.8.21 The number of research students, doctoral degrees awarded and research studentships for the submission and the average per research active staff will be regarded as an indicator of quality. No differentiation will be made regarding the source of funding for research studentships.

External Research Income (RA4)

3.8.22 The amount of external research income for the submission and the average per research active staff will be regarded as an indicator of quality. No differentiation will be made regarding the source of external research funding. However, in recognition that this indicator is more applicable to some disciplines within the unit of assessment than others, the amount and sources of external funding will be looked at in the context of the discipline, the submission as a whole, and the department's or unit's research strategy as described in form RA5.

RA5

3.8.23 Form RA5 should address the following areas:

Research Structure and Environment

3.8.24 Describe how research is managed within the department/unit.

3.8.25 Define the research groups, who belongs to them (referring to RA1), their prime activities, how they operate and their main achievements.

3.8.26 List any other units of assessment to which related work has been submitted, drawing attention to any difficulties of fit between departmental or faculty structure and the unit of assessment framework.

3.8.27 Explain the mechanisms and practices for promoting research and sustaining and developing an active and vital research culture.

3.8.28 Describe the nature and quality of the research infrastructure, including facilities, training and support for research students.

3.8.29 Describe any arrangements which are in place for supporting interdisciplinary or collaborative research.

3.8.30 Provide information on relationships with industry, the public sector and other research users and, where appropriate, on the account taken of government policy initiatives and objectives.

Research Strategy

3.8.31 Provide a statement of the institution's overall research strategy for the next five years, identifying how this builds on the institution's strategy for the last five years and how the department fits within this overall strategy.

3.8.32 Provide a statement about the department's main objectives and activities in research over the next five years.

3.8.33 Where relevant, evaluate the research plans put forward in the 1996 RAE.

Staffing Policy

3.8.34 Describe the arrangements for the development and support of the research work of staff.

3.8.35 Describe the arrangements which are in place for developing the research of younger and/or new researchers and for integrating them into a wider, supportive research culture.

3.8.36 Explain the role and contribution of any Category A* staff who have been recruited during the assessment period.

3.8.37 Explain the linkages between any category C staff and the department/unit and their contribution to the work of the department/unit.

3.8.38 Where appropriate, comment on how the departure of staff in categories A*, B and D has affected the strength, coherence and research culture of the department/unit at the census date.

Self-Assessment

3.8.39 Provide a self-assessment of performance in relation to the information provided in forms RA1, RA2, RA3 and RA4. No rating may be proposed.

RA6

3.8.40 Form RA6 should address the following areas:

Evidence of Esteem

3.8.41 List indicators of peer esteem which relate to the staff submitted (for example, editorships, membership of important bodies or committees, prestigious invited lectures or conference presentations, major awards or prizes).

Individual Staff Circumstances

3.8.42 Note any individual staff circumstances which have significantly affected their contribution to the submission (eg periods of sick leave, career breaks, engagement on long term projects etc).

Contributions by Non Research-active Staff

3.8.43 Institutions may also wish to discuss the relative contribution made to research by staff who have not been returned as research active.

Additional Information

3.8.44 Note any circumstances at a departmental, faculty or institutional level which have significantly affected the productivity of the department/unit (e.g. departmental or institutional reorganisations or mergers etc).

Working Methods

3.8.45 The Panel will ensure the consistent and equitable treatment of all submissions by (a) applying the criteria listed to all submissions, (b) taking account of the stage of development of the particular discipline, and (c) ensuring that all members of the Panel review, and have the opportunity to comment on, all submissions.

3.8.46 Submissions will be assigned to panel members on the basis of their area of expertise. Two members of the Panel - a lead assessor and a second assessor - will be asked to review each submission in detail and to prepare an initial assessment of the complete submission. In preparing their assessment, the lead and second assessors will consult with other members of the Panel, members of other assessment panels, or external specialist advisers as appropriate.

3.8.47 The Panel will assess a submission on the basis of the work of individual researchers rather than research groups.

3.8.48 No minimum critical mass is needed in order to obtain the highest ratings.

3.8.49 In assessing a submission, use will be made of the set of standard analyses produced by the RAE Team. The figures for each submission will be compared with the average figures for the unit of assessment as a whole.

3.8.50 The lead and second assessors will present their assessment of the complete submission to the Panel and this will be followed by a full and detailed discussion of the submission by all members. A provisional rating will be agreed. Once the Panel has assessed all the submissions and arrived at a provisional rating for each, the submissions and ratings awarded will be reviewed a second time and definitive ratings agreed. The Panel will reach a collective decision on the basis of consensus. In the event of a dispute, the rating to be awarded will be determined by a majority vote. If the votes are tied, the Chair will have the casting vote.

3.8.51 In agreeing ratings for submissions, the Panel will use the interpretation of the rating scale as defined by the funding bodies and the definition of quality as described above. The Panel defines international excellence as being research which is likely to be accessed by researchers in those countries which are at the leading edge of research in the particular field. National excellence is defined as being research which is likely to be accessed by researchers nationally, beyond the region, but which is unlikely to have substantial international readership or audience.

3.8.52 All submissions which are awarded a provisional rating of 5 or 5* will be referred to non-UK based experts for verification of international excellence. The Panel will make available to these international experts the complete submissions together with a sample of lower rated submissions for comparison.


Last updated 30 March 2000

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