Strengthen your REF submission and Environment Statement through citation analysis

Securing research funding has always been a priority for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). In a difficult global environment with constrained budgets, many HEIs will be carefully considering their REF strategy. 

As many institutions have already identified their primary research outputs for submission, it’s important to consider how impartial bibliometric data may contribute to the Research Environment statement and provide confidence to your REF submission. The extended deadline provides further opportunity to review your submission process to ensure that it is robust and ready to deliver.

Whilst bibliometric data should not be singularly relied upon to select outputs for submission to the REF, understanding prior performance against peers within a Unit of Assessment can help inform and validate your planning and decision-making. Additionally, identifying and understanding co-authorships (indicating collaborations) and Open Access indicators can provide useful information to inform the preparation of your REF Environment Statement.

 Assessing collaboration and research trends

Collaboration is a key aspect of the REF Environment Statement, and you will want to address questions such as:

  • is there a culture of collaboration across our university, or are collaborations concentrated in only a few core areas?
  • are collaborations geographically diverse?

Responding to these and other similar questions through citation analysis will provide objective data points, helping you to describe your research environment through a data-driven lens and strengthening your Environment Statement.

To help assess prior performance, you should ask:

  • in each Unit of Assessment, how does our organization currently perform across a selected range of bibliometric performance indicators?
  • what are the Open Access trends and how do these compare to our peers?

Answering these questions will help you to understand research trends and the potential impact of open access, ensuring your REF submission is positioned for success.

Research Performance Reports

Our Web of Science™ consultants have created Research Performance Reports to help you spot-check a Unit of Assessment through the lens of research activity, Open Access and collaborations, drawing upon citation analysis from InCites™. These reports are designed to provide clear and compelling data points to help illuminate and frame your citation impact within a specific Unit of Assessment.

For comparative purposes, the Units of Assessment (UoA) are defined by mapping the journal-based subject categories within the Web of Science to the REF Units of Assessment. Open Access status is provided in partnership with Our Research which makes it possible to analyze legal Gold, Bronze (free content on a publisher’s website) and Green (author self-archived content in a repository) Open Access content.

Research evaluation tools and services

Research Performance Reports provide a new way to access impartial bibliometric data easily, without recourse to a dedicated resource. By analyzing a Unit of Assessment through a data-driven lens, these reports provide actionable insights to help frame your REF submission and Environment Statement.

Additional longitudinal analyses from our consultants allow you to demonstrate your research trajectory and progress over time – through the lens of either Unit of Assessment or the researcher – and utilizing additional tools beyond the Research Performance Report to ensure that research outputs are correctly linked to the researcher, department and UoA.

Combined, these tools and services will help improve your data insights and deliver a more accurate series of analyses. This same HEI-partnership approach helped launch our Converis™ REF module which is available as a standalone tool to manage data submissions to the REF.

Please join us on July 30, 2020 at 10am BST, to find out more about how citation analyses can help you position your REF submission for success, and to request a free consultation with our experts.