Over 80% of research outputs meet requirements of REF 2021 open access policy

From Research England 14 June 2018

Sixty one per cent of research outputs known to be in scope for the REF 2021 are meeting open access deposit, discovery and access requirements, with a further twenty per cent reporting a known exception, a report published today shows.

The report details the findings of a survey by the former Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Wellcome Trust, the former Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Jisc. The survey sought to assess how the sector is delivering funders’ open access (OA) policies and to understand some of the challenges the sector faces. The four project partners were also interested in understanding the methods and tools being used across the sector to ensure policy compliance.

Research England’s Executive Chair, David Sweeney, said:

‘Research England is committed to open research and making publically funded research as freely and as widely available as possible is an important part of the research system. We are pleased to see the progress the sector is making with implementing the REF open access policy. We expect institutions to find this benchmark data useful when considering their own practices.’

Results from the survey show that over two thirds of Gold OA charges from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2018 were funded by RCUK and/or the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF), highlighting the sector’s reliance on these central funds to support this route to open access.

Respondents also highlighted some of the challenges of open access and the wide variety of systems and software solutions being used to monitor OA compliance, deposit author-accepted manuscripts (AAMs), and track article processing charges (APCs).

Survey responses highlighted the need for greater interoperability between systems, and over fifty percent of universities indicated that they intend to adopt the Jisc Publications Router in the future as one way to address this challenge.

The report comes as Wellcome reviews its open access policy for the first time since 2012. UK Research and Innovation will also carry out an internal review of its OA policies across the research councils over the next year. The REF 2021 OA policy will not be affected by this review.

One hundred and thirteen universities took part in the survey, which was piloted by Research Consulting in spring 2017 and circulated to HEIs during summer 2017.

Survey responses were used to inform the REF decisions on staff and outputs, published in November 2017.

-ENDS-

Notes

  1. Research England shapes healthy, dynamic research and knowledge exchange in English universities. We are responsible for funding, engaging with and understanding these institutions, and working with devolved funding bodies and the Office for Students to understand their strategies, capabilities and capacity. We support and challenge universities to create new knowledge, strengthen the economy, and enrich society. We distribute over £2.2bn to universities in England every year in the form of quality-related research (QR) funding, and via the Higher Education Innovation Fund. We are responsible for administering the Research Excellence Framework, used to inform QR funding, and for delivering the forthcoming Knowledge Exchange Framework. We also support specific activities with dedicated project funding, including the £900m UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, and the £100m Connecting Capability Fund. The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 established Research England as a Council of UK Research and Innovation alongside the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK. www.ukri.org/re@ResEngland
  2. HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018, with its research and knowledge exchange functions assumed by Research England, a new council within UK Research and Innovation. Research England is responsible for providing grant funding to English universities for research and knowledge exchange activities; developing and implementing the Research Excellence Framework in partnership with the UK Higher Education funding bodies; overseeing the sustainability of the Higher Education research base in England; overseeing the £900 million UK Research Partnership Investment Fund; and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).
  3. As of 1 April 2018 UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils (previously represented by RCUK), Innovate UK and Research England.
  4. COAF is a partnership between six health research charities, including the Wellcome Trust, to enable free and unrestricted access to the published outputs of the research they support.
  5. The Wellcome Trust announced an internal review of its open access policy on 5 March 2018.
  6. REF 2021 decisions on staff and outputs can be viewed here.
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Preparing for Research for REF2021 with John Dargan

John Dargan,Senior Lecturer BA Illustration and Animation discusses the process of developing his work for mock REF 2021 submission.
Part 1

In part 1 John talks about his work The Battle of Le Cateau, 2016 (https://research.uca.ac.uk/3674/), and about the motivations to contributing to mock REF

Part 2

Framing practice as research

Part 3

Developing 300 word statement

RDP Webinar 8th May 1.00pm UCA Mock REF- Lessons Learnt

Open to all UCA researchers

RDP Webinar: UCA Mock REF – Lessons Learnt
with Victoria Kelley and Nino Nizharadze

Tuesday May 8th 1.00pm

Victoria and Nino will be discussing the results from the external reviewers of our Mock REF.

They will be looking at some to the common problems and errors that can be looked at for the next Mock REF in January

General feedback from the external examiners will be reviewed in the light of further developing the research outputs to produce the best ‘refable’ work.

Interested? Join us on May 8th at 1.00pm. Email roffice@ucreative.ac.uk and we will send you your link to join this webinar. All you need is a computer (or mobile phone) with headphones.

If you can not make the webinar – we will be recording the session, so you can catch up later.

Increase to initial threshold for impact case studies

Following feedback from the sector, REF team has increased the initial threshold for impact to 20 FTE (from 15 FTE)

Updated requirements are as follows:

FTE of submitted staff            Number of case studies
Up to 19.99                                    2
20 to 34.99                                    3
35 to 49.99                                    4
50 to 64.99                                    5
65 to 79.99                                    6
80 to 94.99                                    7
95 to 109.99                                  8
110 to 159.99                                 9
160 or more                                  10, plus one case study per additional 50 FTE

 

UCARO – stats for UCA researchers

With thanks to all UCA academics for all the new outputs added to UCARO for the Mock REF. Please keep updating so we can prepare for REF 2021.

Libraries have produced some very interesting infograms all about UCARO

The increase in research uploads for the Mock REF – thank you!

ucaro-uploads-17-18

The types of research outputs – very reflective of our specialist status

ucaro-uploads-17-18 types

and an overview of our 2017 downloads

ucaro-downloads-2017

Want to know your own stats? Contact ucaro@uca.ac.uk

REF 2021 so far

In communications released over the summer period and in late November, HEFCE have confirmed many important aspects of the requirements for the next Research Excellence Framework, REF 2021.

Outcomes and weightings
  • Five-point scale:  4* – Unclassified
  • Weightings:  Outputs –60%,  Impact –25%;  Environment –15%
Outputs

HEFCE are implementing Lord Stern’s recommendations to decouple staff and outputs.  The number of outputs submitted will be determined by the FTE of staff submitted in each Unit of Assessment, with the flexibility to allow minimum and maximum number of outputs per staff member

  •  Minimum 1 and maximum 5 outputs per individual
  • Average of 2.5 outputs per FTE

Portability:

  • For REF2021, outputs may be submitted both by the institution employing a researcher on the census date (31 July 2020), and by the institution where the researcher was previously employed when the output was demonstrably generated
  • ‘Demonstrably generated’  – when the output was first made publicly available
Impact
  • Impact remains with institution where research was generated
  • Impact must be underpinned by excellent research of minimum 2* quality
  • 1 January 2000 -31 December 2020 for underpinning research;  1 August 2013 -31 July 2020 for impacts
  • Definitions of impact will be broadened
  • Impact on teaching at the submitting institution will be counted
  • Case studies continued from examples submitted in 2014 will be eligible
  • Minimum 2 case studies per Unit of Assessment
Submission of staff

All staff with significant responsibility for research will be returned to REF 2021. 

Starting point of identifying ‘total pool of category A eligible staff’:

  • 0.2 full-time equivalent (FTE) or greater
  • primary employment function is to undertake either ‘research only’ or ‘teaching and research’
  • substantive connection with the submitting institution
  • and they must be independent researchers (i.e. not research assistants

In institutions that are confident that all Category A Eligible staff have ‘significant responsibility’, 100% of those staff should be submitted.  In institutions where the basic criteria for ‘Category A Eligible’ staff does not accurately identify only those staff with significant responsibility for research, a smaller group of ‘Category A Submitted’ staff can be identified—those staff with ‘significant responsibility for research’.

Significant responsibility for research: ‘those for whom explicit time and resources are made available to engage actively in independent research, and that is an expectation of their job role.’ (REF 2017/04)

The criteria for determining who should be included in this category should be determined by each HEI. The process must be developed collaboratively in consultation with staff, and relate to standard ways of working at the institution. It should be written into a Code of Practice.

 

 

Thinking differently for REF 2021

We know that many people are keen to understand more about the REF 2021 rules, and to begin planning and considering the ways they may best be implemented for their institution. There are several aspects of the high-level framework that continue from the previous exercise; but there are also key changes to the submission process…

via Thinking differently for REF 2021 — HEFCE blog