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British Academy comments on REF 2014 results

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The British Academy issued the following statement today, 18 December, on the publication of REF 2014: 

The results of REF 2014 provide powerful evidence of the leading position of UK research internationally and of the value that research delivers. REF 2014 reports improved performance across the disciplinary spectrum, and the British Academy notes particular strengths identified in the social sciences and humanities, where 30% of all submitted research, and 44% of case studies of ‘impact’, are judged to be ‘world-leading’.

REF 2014, which has made huge demands on scholars and those involved in panels, has produced a compelling case for the value of UK research.

Professor Roger Kain, Vice-President for Research at the British Academy, said: ‘The Academy sees the results of REF 2014 as a real cause for celebrating the leading position and wider value of research in the UK, especially in the humanities and social sciences. The Academy’s President, while recognising the importance of assessment and this impressive achievement, has called for a thorough review of REF and the lessons to be learned from this exercise. The Academy stands ready to engage in the debate to find the best way to ensure that research in the UK continues to be, and is shown to be, of the highest quality.’

An extended comment by Roger Kain was published today in Research Fortnight and is available online. Lord Stern and Sir Paul Nurse’s joint letter calling for a review of the REF system was published in Times Higher Education on 11 December and is available here.

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