The University of Salford’s REF intranet site (www.salford.ac.uk/ref) has recently been updated to include some of the annotated case study drafts from the recent external peer review exercise.
The insightful comments from the peer reviewers will be used to help shape further case study drafts and also to help inform the forthcoming internal peer review process.
Examples can be found under the Impact section: External Peer Review
Some general points noted by the external peer reviewers include:
- A number of case studies don’t distinguish between research and resulting impact, instead flagging impacts that appear to be benefits to the academy rather than societal impacts, so some further advice on that distinction might be useful
- Some cases focus on dissemination at the expense of resulting impacts, again further advice and clarification might help
- Some do not convincingly demonstrate robustness of underpinning research or links between the research and claimed impacts, some of this may be limitations in the research, some could be developed further
- Most could improve the clarity with which impacts are articulated, and their apparent significance and reach (true of most cases, from a variety of institutions, at this stage)
- Most need to supplement the current corroboration with more in depth, specific or appropriate evidence
- It is very likely that submission of names and positions of staff, and dates of employment at the institution will be mandatory, so do that now, especially to show clarity around eligibility
- All evidence will need to be submitted with the case studies so ensure it is in an accessible and appropriate format. Where web pages are used, ensure you have preserved them and don’t just use standard links.
Further information on what makes a top impact case study can be found at the following external site, for example:
What makes a 4* Impact Case Study:
Fast Track Impact What Makes a 4 Star Impact Case Study.pdf
What made a 4* Impact Case Study in REF2014:
A section on how to identify 4* impact case studies on the REF2014 website and to look at lessons learned from REF2014 can also be found at:
Why not take this opportunity to check out this and other impact resources available on the REF staff intranet: https://www.salford.ac.uk/ref