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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Read the report

Read the report in full

What is metrics-based research assessment?

Metrics is the quantitative analysis of scientific and scholarly research outputs and their impacts.

Metrics include a variety of measures and statistical methods for assessing the quality and broader impact of scientific and scholarly research. 

About the review

We managed an independent review  of research assessment and management during 2014 and early 2015. 

Read The Metric Tide report

The review explored the current use of metrics for research assessment, drawing on evidence from a wide range of sources.

Further information

For further information about the review, contact Ben Johnson or Alex Herbert (

It considered the robustness of metrics across different academic disciplines, assessing their potential contribution to the development of research excellence and impact within higher education.

The review’s outcomes report will interest researchers and will inform the work of HEFCE and the other UK higher education funding bodies as they prepare for the future of the Research Excellence Framework

The review also has broader relevance beyond higher education, as it also considers the use of metrics in other aspects of government science and industrial policy.


Page last updated 8 July 2015