Home > What we do > Research > How we fund research > Independent review of metrics

Independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment

This page summarises work HEFCE is carrying out to review the role of metrics in the assessment and management of research. This work will be of interest to anyone with a professional interest in research assessment and funding.

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

The independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment will consider how well metrics can be used across different academic disciplines to assess the excellence of research undertaken in the higher education sector.

The outcomes will be of interest to those who undertake research and will inform the work of HEFCE and the other UK higher education funding bodies as they prepare future iterations of the Research Excellence Framework.

Call for evidence

As part of the review, we launched a call for evidence to gather views and evidence relating to the use of metrics in research assessment and management.

Download the Letter calling for evidence as PDF (212 KB) | Download the Letter calling for evidence as MS Word (232 KB)

Responses to the call for evidence

We received 153 responses to the call for evidence. The full set of responses is provided here, alongside a document summarising the content and a letter sent to the Right Honourable Greg Clark MP which provides an update on progress of the project.

Conduct of the review

The review is being chaired by James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex.

Professor Wilsdon is supported by an independent steering group.

Papers from steering group meetings

Meeting 1: 1 April 2014

Agenda

Download the Agenda for first SG meeting 010414 as PDF (129 KB)

Paper 1: terms of reference and governance

Download the Paper 1 ToR and governance as PDF (97 KB)

Paper 2: historical perspective

Download the Paper 02 14 Historical Perspective as PDF (93 KB)

Paper 3: timetable/project plan 1 April 2014

Paper 4: draft call for evidence

Download the Paper 04 14 Draft Call for Evidence as PDF (88 KB)

Meeting 2: 27 May 2014

Agenda

Download the Agenda for second SG meeting 270514 as PDF (131 KB)

Paper 5: minutes of the steering group meeting 1 April 2014

Download the Paper 05 14 Minutes of first SG mtg as PDF (152 KB)

Paper 6: pilot bibliometrics exercise

Download the Paper 06 14 pilot bibliometrics exercise as PDF (217 KB)

Paper 7: timetable/project plan 27 May 2014

Download the Paper 07 14 Timetable Project plan 270514 as PDF (11 KB)

Paper 8: stakeholder engagement

Download the Paper 8 Stakeholder engagement as PDF (77 KB)

Paper 9: international perspective

Download the Paper 09 14 International perspective as PDF (111 KB)

State of the art of committing metricide? Dr Claire Donovan

Download the Donovan HEFCE 27 May 2014 as PDF (287 KB)

Performance-based funding, peer review, and metrics, Gunnar Sivertsen

Download the Performance-based-funding_Gunnar-Sivertsen_HEFCE 27 May 2014 as PDF (927 KB)

Meeting 3: 15 July 2014

Agenda

Download the Agenda for third SG meeting 150714 DOCX as PDF (134 KB)

Paper 10: minutes of the steering group meeting 27 May 2014

Download the Paper 10 14 Minutes of second SG meeting as PDF (148 KB)

Paper 11: timetable/project plan 15 July 2014

Download the Paper 11 14 Timetable Project Plan 150714 as PDF (89 KB)

Paper 12: stakeholder engagement strategic planning

Download the Paper 12 14 Stakeholder engagement strategic planning as PDF (153 KB)

Paper 13: call for evidence - summary of responses

Download the Paper 13 14 Call for evidence - summary of responses as PDF (232 KB)

Paper 14: draft outline for final report on metrics

Download the Paper 14 14 draft outline for final report on metrics as PDF (93 KB)

Paper 15: summary of meetings with David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science

Download the Paper 15 14 Summary of meetings with DW as PDF (236 KB)

Paper 16: UCL workshop

Download the Paper 16 14 UCL workshop as PDF (96 KB)

Meeting 4: 6 October 2014

Agenda

Download the Agenda for 4th meeting as PDF (130 KB)

Paper 17: minutes of the steering group meeting 15 July 2014 

Download the Paper 17 Minutes of the third SG meeting as PDF (153 KB)

Paper 18: note of roundtable meeting at UCL with representatives from HE institutions in London

Download the Paper 18 Summary from UCL roundtable as PDF (125 KB)

Paper 19: timetable/project plan

Download the Paper 19 timetable project plan as PDF (10 KB)

Paper 20: summary of responses

(Document to follow)

Literature review presentation

Slides presented by Paul Wouters

Download the Literature review slides: Paul Wouters as PDF (537 KB)

Slides presented by Mike Thelwall

Download the Lit review slides as PDF (133 KB)

Paper 21: evidence gaps and stakeholder events

Download the Paper 21 Evidence gaps and stakeholder events as PDF (342 KB)

Paper 22: REF evaluation and analysis programme

Download the Paper 22 REF evaluation and analysis programme as PDF (101 KB)

Metrics stakeholder workshops

Upcoming workshops

2 December, 10:30-16:30, University of Sheffield, Metrics for all? Equality and diversity workshop

Past workshops

7 October, University of Sussex, In metrics we trust? Prospects & pitfalls of new research metrics

Further information

For further information about the review, contact Alex Herbert or Jude Hill (metrics@hefce.ac.uk).

Page last updated 16 October 2014

Share this: