10.0663 research assessment (U.K.)

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 19:31:16 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 663.
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> (26)
Subject: Re: 10.0654 research assessment (U.K.)

In response to Mike Kelly, whom I thank for elucidating the activity of the
European Studies panel, the declared difference between RA2 (four nominated
publications) and RA5-6 ('supporting evidence') is appreciated, but panels
were, admittedly within the guidelines, allowed to set their own briefs.
Some of those panels seem, from their briefs, to have been operating more on a
peer review system than actually on the RA2 -- of course, that's a personal
impression, but one which may be borne out from the results of some panels. In
this case, if the panel had a predilection for traditional publication, can we
be assured that _all_ panels did actually access the material and evaluate as
fully as it might a traditional publication? Moreover, in how many submissions
was e-development placed in RA5-6 rather than in RA2? Finally -- and this has
more to do with departmental cultures, as may the last point -- in RA5-6 might
there have been a tendency to squeeze out e-developments in favour of expanding
all those traditional materials which might also have wanted more space? Such
faults -- if such they were -- might have originated in the departments (or
units of assessment), but they were probably based on expectations and
perceptions of how some panels might assess the different media -- traditional
and electronic. My own feeling is that some units of assessment and the new
universities have a real grievance here in some subject areas and that that
issue can only be overcome by more feedback of a detailed nature.

* By peer review, I should declare that I mean personal reputations rather than
assessment of the actual output.

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