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2 July 2007

To   Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
  Heads of HEFCW-funded higher education institutions
  Heads of SFC-funded higher education institutions
  Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
Cc RAE contacts at UK HEIs
  (cc recipients receive additional annexes B, C, D and E).

RAE Circular Letter 2007/01

For further information contact Ed Hughes, Davina Madden or Raegan Hiles, tel 0117 931 7267; e-mail

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

RAE2008: Arrangements for making submissions electronically and for subsequent deposit of physical research outputs

1.   I am writing to confirm the arrangements for higher education institutions (HEIs) to make their Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) submissions and subsequently deposit copies of research outputs cited in their RAE submissions with the RAE team. No response is required to this letter.

2.   I am copying this letter to the nominated RAE contact at your institution. With the same letter your RAE contact will also receive more detailed guidance (in additional annexes B, C, D and E) on depositing research outputs, including the date on which we would like to receive the research outputs from your particular institution.

Making submissions electronically

3.   I previously advised HEIs of the arrangements for making RAE2008 submissions electronically using the web-based RAE2008 data collection system. The arrangements are described in RAE Circular Letter 2006/02.

4.   I am now writing to confirm that the RAE team has added submission functionality to the RAE2008 data collection system: institutions may make their submissions at any time between now and the submission deadline of 1200 noon on 30 November 2007.

5.   The process for making submissions is in two stages:

6.   An administrator validates all the submissions and then they are locked to prevent further data editing. The administrator then needs to notify a submitter that the submissions are ready to submit. After submitting, a submitter may unlock the submissions to correct any errors or make changes before the deadline. The process is described in more detail in the latest version (June 2007) of the RAE2008 Data collection release guide [Adobe PDF 728K].

7.   The submission process involves submitters confirming the accuracy of the data and agreeing to certain conditions, including those regarding the use of data supplied by HEIs. For your information, a copy of the conditions that submitters will be invited to agree is at Annex A.

Depositing research outputs for assessment by panels

8.   We previously published on the RAE web-site our intention to request from institutions a physical copy, or appropriate evidence, of each research output cited in their RAE2008 submission, apart from those journal articles for which a valid digital object identifier (DOI) is included in the submission. Further information is at under Policies and procedures.

9.   Following informal feedback we have attempted to minimise the potential administrative burden on HEIs of responding to multiple requests from the RAE team to supply research outputs throughout 2008. Therefore, we are asking each institution to deposit all of the research outputs that it cites in its RAE submissions at one location on a pre-determined date.

10.   Depending on the research output type, we request either the actual output, or a copy of it, or visual and/or textual evidence of its existence. Confidential reports and items of great rarity or value need not be supplied at the outset. RAE contacts should note that annexes B and C respectively of this letter describe what evidence HEIs should submit for each output type apart from journal articles, and how research outputs other than journal articles should be packaged and deposited with the RAE team. Annex D describes the arrangements for depositing journal articles for which no DOI has been included in the submission.

11.   We have developed a staggered timetable for receiving research outputs other than journal articles: RAE contacts are advised of the delivery date for your particular institution at Annex E of this letter. I hope that you will appreciate that the scale of this operation requires us to specify a particular date for each HEI's delivery, since we expect to receive some 60,000 outputs in total and to catalogue and store these for dispatch to RAE panels starting in mid-February 2008. We have tried to consider the size and number of likely submissions and research outputs from each institution in designating a particular day for its delivery.

12.   We will return research outputs to institutions after the assessment phase, by February 2009.

13.   Thank you in advance for your help in planning this aspect of the assessment process.

Yours sincerely

Ed Hughes
RAE Manager


Annex A was provided both to heads of relevant HEIs and universities, and to RAE contacts at those institutions. Annexes B-D concern administrative matters and were provided to RAE contacts only. RAE contacts were also given an additional Annex (Annex E) specific to their institution, stating the date that their particular HEI would be required to provide research outputs in physical format to the RAE team.

Annex A - Submission confirmation text

[ MS Word 34K | Zipped Word 6K | Adobe PDF 14K | Zipped PDF 8K ]

Annex B - RAE 2008: requirements for electronic and/or physical provision of research outputs by output type

[ MS Excel 33K | Zipped Excel 24K | Adobe PDF 14K | Zipped PDF 9K ]

Annex C - Arrangements for packaging and depositing research outputs

[ MS Word 70K | Zipped Word 13K | Adobe PDF 33K | Zipped PDF 22K ]

Annex D - Arrangements for naming and depositing pdf files of journal articles

[ MS Word 56K | Zipped Word 10K | Adobe PDF 22K | Zipped PDF 15K ]