Taylor, J and Walker, I (2009) Peer assessment of research: how many publications per staff? Working Paper. The Department of Economics, Lancaster University.
The UK's higher education funding councils have proposed reducing the number of submitted outputs from four to three in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework to reduce the burden on panel members. This reduction is considered to be sufficient for panels to form a robust view of the achievements of individuals and their departments. The key issue is whether the subject panels would have sufficient information to judge the quality of research at departmental level with details of only three outputs per staff. Two journal quality indicators are used in this note to test the assumption that three publications is likely to be as useful to the panels as four to measure research quality in three cognate units of assessment (business & management, economics & econometrics and accounting & finance). In fact, the results indicate that two publications would be sufficient, thereby providing more time for a careful assessment of submitted outputs.
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