REF 2014 defined research generally as a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared. Within the School of Health Sciences it is assumed that such research will generally be evidenced by publications in peer-review journals. The general guidance below addresses the bulk of the research that the ROME panel expects to receive.
We do appreciate that working practices vary considerably across academic fields. If you have produced research outputs that you regard as equivalent to those described below but do not fulfil the specific criteria then please submit them to the panel with an appropriate covering note.
Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
|*** (3*)||Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence.|
|** (2*)||Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.|
|* (1*)||Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.|
|U||Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work or does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment.|
It is our belief that any paper that has been accepted in a scientific journal after full-peer review has, by definition, fulfilled at least the status of national recognition and we therefore assume that any paper being considered by the panel will be graded at least 1*.
Papers are graded on the basis of three categories. These are individually rated using the same system outlined in the table above and an overall grade is then awarded based upon these.
What we do review
REF 2014 defined research generally as a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared. Within the School of Health Sciences it is assumed that such research will generally be evidenced by publications in peer-review journals.
The focus of the ROME panel is on monitoring and evaluating all articles
All papers fulfilling these criteria should be submitted to the panel by the most senior author who is a member of the School of Health Sciences following the guidance on the How does the process work? tab below.
We do not make a distinction between short communications, technical notes etc. and “full” papers as far as inclusion or exclusion is concerned but, in our fields, it is the “full” papers that are likely to be graded more highly.
There may be a small number of narrative reviews in which the synthesis of evidence or opinion is sufficiently strong to be regarded as leading to new insights. An example might be a review synthesising the opinions of a number of senior figures in a field, perhaps nominated by a professional or academic body, and generating a strong consensus view or guidelines or proposal for future directions. Such papers may be reviewed.
In most subject areas the requirement for full-peer review will exclude:
There is no need to submit such outputs to the panel (but they must still be lodged on USIR).
At present we are monitoring such articles but not grading them. Please unload these to USIR using the normal process (assuming they have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal).
1. Once you have had a paper accepted for publication the most senior author places a copy in the University of Salford Institutional Repository (USIR) within three months from the date of acceptance. If it is published as Open Access then a .pdf copy as provided to you by the publishers should be submitted. If itis not then a .pdf copy of the final version as you submitted it to the publisher (complete with figures and tables and their legends) should be submitted (this is called the Author Accepted Manuscript – AAD – and you own the copyright to this).
2. When the journal’s typeset .pdf version has become available the you should e-mail a copy to HSRC-Research@salford.ac.uk. The body of the e-mail should include:
If any of these are missing then you will be informed of this and the process will not proceed until all the information has been received.
3. Four weeks before each panel an e-mail will be sent out to reminding academic staff of this requirement to notify us of any outputs that have been published. Only papers received at least two weeks before the panel date will be reviewed.
4. After the panel meeting you will be sent an e-mail acknowledging that the panel has reviewed the paper and informing of you of the grading that the panel has assigned. (Note that these may be reviewed before the next REF in the light of any additional citation information that is available by then).
5. You will not get any written feedback on the panel’s discussion but if you would like more information on this you should consult your Research Programme Lead who is a panel member.
The panel is comprised primarily of the Professoriate and the Research Programme Leads. Other staff with specific areas of expertise may also be seconded to it. The current members are:
Members are encouraged to send along alternates to meetings as a way of educating a wider range of staff members (particularly early and mid-career researchers) in how to judge research quality. It can be useful of such alternates consult with the Panel member they are replacing before the meeting to be mentored in this.
We also encourage a small number of observers at each meeting as part of our educational remit. Observers should not come along to Panel meetings at which their own research is discussed.
The panel meets four times each year (approx quarterly).
The panel is made up of research theme leads and thereby allows an appropriate level of both depth of experience and breadth of disciplines to reflect the range of research that falls under health sciences. Papers are assigned to a lead reviewer who is in the closest field of study to the paper topic but is not the author or co-author (i.e. lead reviewer is an expert in the field). Other reviewers may or may not be directly in the field of study and this replicates REF Unit of Assessment panel make-ups; providing an accurate idea of how the paper is likely to be received within the wider Health Sciences Unit of Assessment. Given the full breadth of research that the members of the School engage in, the system may not work well for all research outputs. Occasionally, therefore the panel may send an output to another school panel, or externally for review. Please contact the panel Chair Kristen Hollands if you feel that your research outputs fall into this category for any reason.
Each article is allocated to at least three panel members (reviewers) before the meeting. One of these is allocated as the primary reviewer. They read the paper and submit their grades (originality, significance, rigour and overall) before the meeting.
If all readers are in agreement (whether this is in accordance with the author or not) then there may be very little discussion. This should not be interpreted as a lack of rigour as the consensus is confirming the rigour of how the readers have performed their original reviews.
It is assumed that an author’s Research Programme Lead is listening to the discussion and is able to discuss the grading with the author at a later date if this is deemed useful.
Good writing cannot turn 1* research into 4* research but it is certainly essential to ensure that the true quality of research is appreciated by the reader. The quality of writing can almost certainly lead to the difference of a whole star in the overall writing of the paper. This link takes you to a document suggesting how you can write to improve the perceived quality of your research.