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Assessing the quality of research in HEIs using bibliometrics

Mark Gittoes, Analytical Services Group, HEFCE

Wednesday 20 October 2010, 1500-1600
Lecture Theatre, Postgraduate Statistics Centre

HEFCE are currently developing a new system for examining the quality of research in UK HEIs. The primary focus of the system will be to identify excellent research of all kinds and this will be assessed through a process of expert review, potentially informed by citation information in subjects where robust data are available. This talk reports on two technical aspects of citation information which will help inform HEFCE's consultations on the process.

Bibliometrics and the REF

An important part of any approach to bibliometrics is benchmarking. The citation count of a piece of work, by itself, tells us little about it; citations accumulate with time, and rates of citation vary substantially between academic disciplines. In the first aspect discussed, we will look at the approaches to benchmarking (or normalising) citation counts against cohorts of similar outputs. Conventionally an output is benchmarked against the mean citation score of its cohort. We will discuss an alternative approach using percentiles.

REF equalities analysis

In the second aspect, we will discuss an equalities analysis that was carried out using citation information. This considered the question of whether early career researchers (ECRs) were more or less likely than non-ECRs to be 'highly cited' on two citation databases. The analysis also considered other equality areas such as sex, ethnicity & disability and used statistical models to compare staff on a like for like basis.

This talk has been organised by The Royal Statistical Society's Lancashire/Cumbria group.

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