REF and Responsible Metrics

After a busy month (Or couple of months!) including a day in London talking about systematically allocating DOI’s for bookchapters, a few days in Lille attending the Liber Conference: Research Libraries as an Open Science Hub: from Strategy to Action, I am back in the office.

Apart from conferences, there have been the routine (?) tasks such as moving offices, the projects that you may have seen (Making research evaluation processes in Europe more transparent),  the blogs I have beein writing instead of my own (How can librarians and research managers work together?) and the exciting mix that is every day life of the OSC. I’m also very aware I said I’d write a blog post about metrics and preprints… I will. There is also an update on where we’re up to with the book chapters following conversations with publishers.

Given the very welcome news in the REF2021 guidance that:

“208. No sub-panel will use journal impact factors or any hierarchy of journals in their assessment of outputs. No output will be privileged or disadvantaged on the basis of the publisher, where it is published or the medium of its publication.”

I’ve been asked a few times about how this is being implemented at Kent, so here is what we have shared with the REF steering group and REF co-ordinators in terms of practical outworking of responsible metrics in relation to the REF:

Implications for REF Outputs

  • Outputs should be selected for inclusion based on qualitative, expert assessment with support from quantitative indicators where appropriate.
  • Metrics used in relation to a research output should relate directly to that output, not the researcher or the publication it is part of.
  • Metrics regarding an output should be considered in relation to the context of the article, taking into consideration factors such as career stage, gender, language of publication and date of publication, even with a UOA context.
  • Ensure Metrics reflect the reach of the work
    • Check KAR to ensure all research works are recorded there correctly.
    • Maximise metrics, by maximising visibility of research
    • Make Open Access (pre-print, green, gold, …) as soon as possible
    • Open Data reporting/references in the article
    • Contact for specific advice or queries
  • Encourage researchers to register for and use an ORCID iD to ensure consistent, reliable attribution of work
  • Work with the Research Excellence Team to ensure details in Scopus are accurate – this is particularly the case if researchers have recently changed name or institution.

Also, here are my slides on how we combine the two at Kent… some slides may need explanations (e.g. context – Keynes duckpond vs great lakes) so do ask!.

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