10.0653 research assessment (U.K.)

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 00:04:34 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 653.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Dave Postles <pot@leicester.ac.uk> (24)
Subject: Re: 10.0646 research assessment

It's a question of some discussion as to what extent the RAE by the HEFCE
actually took into account humanities computing. Although the guidance issued
by the HEFCE made allowance for the electronic medium, it is probable that many
involved in the medium felt that the subject panels did not give sufficient
appreciation. There has been some correspondence recently in _The Times Higher_
(_Times Higher Educational Supplement_). If I might hazard a further, personal
feeling -- perhaps purely intuitive -- the composition of some panels in the
humanities suggests that there was either little interest in or little
knowledge of humanities computing (whether for research or teaching, the latter
not being within the remit of the RAE, of course). Moreover, there was
virtually no allowance for elucidating the nature of the involvement in
electronic research, since overall departmental activities (including those of
individuals) had to be described within six sides of A4. My own experience was
that there was no space to explain the activity in lay terms. My own rather
tangential involvement in H-Albion and H-Net was reduced to about six words, so
the problem for people with deep interests in this sort of work must have been
compounded. I can fully understand that some people may feel that the RAE has
not fully valued this sort of work, especially since there has been no feedback
apart from a letter to _The Times Higher_ from an officer of the HEFCE
re-stating that the groundrules allowed for the electronic medium.

Dave Postles
Dept of English Local History, University of Leicester
http://snowwhite.it.bton.ac.uk/proj-cgi/alt/members/DPO656 (under construction)