HEFCE have released their report on the use of metrics in research assessment.
And, wonderful to relate, it is good news.
You can find an excellent commentary on it, as well as a link to the report itself, on David Colquhoun’s blog. Just to quote a couple of things from the commentary (I have not had time to read the report itself yet):
- “The tragic case of Stefan Grimm, whose suicide in September 2014 led Imperial College to launch a review of its use of performance metrics, is a jolting reminder that what’s at stake in these debates is more than just the design of effective management systems.”
- The correlation analysis shows clearly that, contrary to some earlier reports, all of the many metrics that are considered predict the outcome of the 2014 REF far too poorly to be used as a substitute for reading the papers.
- HEIs should consider signing up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
Now we await action on this report. I am not too hopeful: EPSRC commissioned an International Review of UK mathematics, and proceeded to ignore it and do the opposite of its recommendations. But HEFCE should be aware that we are watching them.