Post #019: Academic assessment in the REF era (part III)

Glasgow, May 31, 2018

The setting up of an international, standardised, affordable and accessible platform aiming at the assessment and monitoring of the research output of higher education (HE) institutions that do not operate under the standards and/or the socioeconomic environments allowing for a reliable implementation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) or of an equivalent model [1], would more likely be a multi-phase project. A platform as such would need to: (i) identify the challenges in harmonizing the standards of research output assessment and monitoring across HE institutions from a variety of socioeconomic environments, (ii) address [2] the need of establishing the administrative and training background for these HE institutions to be eligible to access this platform under equal terms, (iii) establish rounds of (internal and external) consultation, procedural revision and disciplinary specialization in its criteria and assessment particulars [3], and (iv) ensure the affordability of the offered services in parallel to the fiscal challenge of the ongoing development and viability of the latter.

Ensuring the participating HE institutions’ conformity concerning research ethics and the adoption of practices that aim at the prevention of scientific misconduct, would require the clarification of standards in the aforementioned matters as well as the organizing of periodic workshops for the academic, research and administrative staff of these institutions. Moreover, dedicated coordination of each participating HE institution’s submissions would require the allocation of responsibilities on some of their own members of staff, while the training of the latter would need to be undertaken by the platform’s staff, preferably as part of a dedicated international workshop for such coordinators.

It is clear that the setting up of such a research output assessment platform would neither be an easy nor a simple task. It would be a complex and time-consuming project that would require the flexibility that only the private initiative could ensure, but it would undoubtedly be a worthy challenge.

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Notes: [1]: Zarros A. Post #018: Academic assessment in the REF era (part II). azarros.info/blog 2018; 30-Apr; [2]: on a case-by-case manner; [3]: preferably with an aim to implement the recommendations of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Citation: Zarros A. Post #019: Academic assessment in the REF era (part III). azarros.info/blog 2018; 31-May.