Outputs

Information on the outputs component of REF2021, including the relevant assessment criteria and FAQs.

The information on the output component of REF2021 is taken from the documents Draft guidance on submissions (2018/01) (GoS) and Consultation on the panel criteria and working methods (2018/02) (PCWM) published by the REF team in July 2018. The documents are currently under consultation and details are subject to change. Where indicated, criteria applies specifically to REF main panel B, which emcompasses the sub-panel for Informatics' unit of assessment (UOA 11).

Draft guidance on submissions (2018/01) from the REF2021 website

Consultation on the panel criteria and working methods (2018/02) from the REF2021 website

Outputs in REF2021

  Description Reference
Weighting 60% of outcome awarded to submission. GoS 33.a
Assessed on Originality, significance and rigour of research outputs.

GoS 33.a

PCWM 193-195

Number required 2.5 x FTE of unit's submitted staff total. A minimum of one and a maximum of five outputs should be returned per member of submitted staff. GoS 30.b and 199.b
Period covered 01 January 2014 - 31 December 2020 GoS 3.b

Detailed assessment criteria for outputs

  Description Reference
Originality Originality will be understood as the extent to which the output makes an important and innovative contribution to understanding and knowledge in the field. Research outputs that demonstrate originality may do one or more of the following: produce new empirical findings or material; engage with new and/or complex problems; develop innovative research methods, methodologies and analytical techniques; show imaginative scope; provide new arguments, formal innovations, interpretations and/or insights; collect and engage with novel types of data; and/or advance theory or the analysis of doctrine, policy or practice, and new forms of expression PCWM193
Significance Significance will be understood as the extent to which the work has influenced, or has the capacity to influence, knowledge and scholarly thought, or the development and understanding of policy and/or practice. PCWM194
Rigour Rigour will be understood as the extent to which the work demonstrates intellectual coherence and integrity, and adopts robust and appropriate concepts, analyses, theories and methodologies. PCWM195

Starred level definitions for outputs

  General criteria from GoS annex A, table A2 Supplementary criteria for main panel B,  PCWM 203
Four star Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Sub-panels will expect to see evidence of, or potential for, some of the following types of characteristics:

  • agenda-setting
  • research that is leading or at the forefront of the research area
  • great novelty in developing new thinking, new techniques or novel results
  • major influence on a research theme or field
  • developing new paradigms or fundamental new concepts for research
  • major changes in policy or practice
  • major influence on processes, production and management
  • major influence on user engagement.
Three star Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence.

Sub-panels will expect to see evidence of, or potential for, some of the following types of characteristics:

  • makes important contributions to the field at an international standard
  • contributes important knowledge, ideas and techniques which are likely to have a lasting influence, but are not necessarily leading to fundamental new concepts
  • significant changes to policies or practices
  • significant influence on processes, production and management
  • significant influence on user engagement.
Two star Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Sub-panels will expect to see evidence of, or potential for, some of the following types of characteristics:

  • provides useful knowledge and influences the field
  • involves incremental advances, which might include new knowledge which conforms with existing ideas and paradigms, or model calculations using established techniques or approaches
  • influence on policy or practice
  • influence on processes, production and management
  • influence on user engagement.
One star Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Sub-panels will expect to see evidence of, or potential for, some of the following types of characteristics:

  • useful but unlikely to have more than a minor influence in the field
  • minor influence on policy or practice
  • minor influence on processes, production and management
  • minor influence on user engagement.
Unclassified Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment. Research will be graded as ‘unclassified’ if it falls below the quality levels described  above or does not meet the definition of research used for the REF.