Which publications best reflect your research achievements?

HEFFCE blog 20 July

This is one of the questions addressed in a post today by Jonathan Adams on the HEFCE blog. In the post Jonathan explores some of the findings published in the HEFCE report “Publication patterns in research underpinning impact in REF2014” that we have previously referred to on Research Matters.

Read Jonathan’s blog post here then follow on with Anna Lang’s blog piece about the REF Impact Case Studies

If you are thinking ahead to the next REF and considering impact stories you could do worse than explore the searchable database of impact case studies submitted for REF 2014 that HEFCE have helpfully provided.

Publication patterns in research underpinning impact in REF2014


HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has published a report “Publication patterns in research underpinning impact in REF2014”, comprising an analysis of all of the research publication outputs submitted for research assessment between 1988 and 2014. From the references included in the REF 2014 impact case studies, around 42% of those had been submitted as indicators of academic research quality to previous research assessment processes. Of the report fidndings, HEFCE says:

“This suggests that research of scholarly significance leads to societal impact, but also emphasises the broad base of research from which impact stems.”

Read the HEFCE press release here – the report is available to download free from the HEFCE website

The analysis was commissioned by HEFCE and undertaken by Digital Science.

Ensuring integrity and rigour in UK research: best practice, open data and the impact of the REF

Westminster HE Forum

Westminster Higher Education Forum are hosting this seminar in central London on 7 July 2016 where Dr Steven Hill, Head of Research Policy at HEFCE will be the keynote speaker.

Delegates at this seminar will consider strategies for protecting integrity and rigour of UK research – and supporting the quality of the UK research base. It takes place with these issues an increasing priority for policymakers, higher education institutions and the wider research sector – in anticipation of Lord Stern’s review into university research funding, which is considering approaches to the evaluation of UK higher education research performance and options for future iterations of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

It also comes with ongoing discussion about the effects of increasing competition and the growing use of metrics on research practice in higher education institutions.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Competition and rigour – examining the tensions between an increasingly competitive research environment and improving the rigour of research processes within universities;
  • Research environment – the impact of including assessment of an institution’s research environment within the REF’s metrics and next steps for addressing the findings;
  • Ensuring best practice – strategies for combating issues such as plagiarism and the misleading representation of results;
  • Self-regulation – the impact of the Concordat to Support Research Integrity – introduced in 2012 – and the potential for further implementation;
  • Research funding – options for addressing concerns around the integrity of corporate sponsored research;
  • Ethics – supporting ethical research practices and the role of university ethics boards; and
  • Open data – opportunities, expansion and options for improving the reproducibility of research findings.

See the latest agenda and book a place here.

UK Funding Councils post-2014 Open Access Policy

JISC Open Access HEFCE Policy

Today is the day – 1 April 2016 – that this policy has finally come into effect. Mafalda Picarra from Jisc has written a timely blog reminder of what it all means. The University Library is ready to support your work, just copy your acceptance email from the publisher with the manuscript to publications@rgu.ac.uk


HEFCE Blog – Can you prove the impact of your research?

HEFCE blog

Elizabeth Garcha from the University of Sheffield writes today on the HEFCE Blog about evidence for impact case studies, addressing key questions such as what to collect and when to collect it, each linked to the question of who owns the benefit or change that is a consequence of the research. Read Elizabeth’s post here.

Jisc launches SHERPA REF – a new service to clarify journal compliance with REF


Following on from our Research Matters blog post of yesterday about eligibility of submission of research oututs for the next REF, Hannah DeGroff, Open Access Support Coordinator at Jisc this morning made live a link to a new service that will help researchers and institutions determine whether or not a specific journal is compliant with HEFCE’s policy. Hannah wrote:

“We’re delighted to announce the availability of SHERPA REF, a ‘beta’ web service – funded and endorsed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – that allows authors and institutions to quickly, accurately and easily check whether a journal in which they wish to publish complies with the open access (OA) policy for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The policy requires journal articles and conference proceedings accepted for publication after 1 April 2016 are made OA in order to be eligible for submission to the next REF. Universities need to ensure their submissions are eligible and comply with current policy under the four UK higher education funding bodies: HEFCE, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Scottish Funding Council and the Department of employment and learning in Northern Ireland.

By enabling authors to easily check their compliance, SHERPA REF saves time and effort for universities in checking they meet the requirements – estimated to take on average between 30-60 minutes.

For more information on SHERPA REF visit https://ref.sherpa.ac.uk/

A full press statement can be found here.”


To be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF …


Get REF Ready A6 resized

Given that we are in March, the vernal equinox is past and British Summer Time commences this weekend when the clocks go forward, here’s a timely reminder that to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts of journals and conference papers accepted after 1 April 2016 must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository as soon as possible after acceptance for publication.

If your paper is being published forward your acceptance email to publications@rgu.ac.uk as soon as you receive it.

See HEFCE Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework for more information.


Funding Opportunity : UK Research partnership investment fund

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund is designed to support investment in higher education research facilities.  The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is 15 April 2016.

To apply for the fund, please read the guidance and submission documents. Then email researchpartnership@hefce.ac.uk by 15 April 2016 to indicate your intention to apply and for further details on how to submit a bid.

The fund has four main objectives. These are to:

  • enhance the research facilities of higher education institutions (HEIs) undertaking world-leading research
  • encourage strategic partnerships between HEIs and other organisations active in research
  • stimulate additional investment in HE research
  • strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.

The fund supports large-scale projects that can also attract private investment.