The peer review assessment of research outputs contributed 65% of the overall assessment. Research outputs were individually assessed on their 'originality, significance and rigour'.

Research outputs eligibility

A research output was eligible for submission to REF2014 if it met the following criteria:

  • It is a product of research: a process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared;
  • It was first brought into the public domain during the REF publication period;
  • It was authored (or co-authored) by the member of staff against which the output is listed in the submission.
  • Type includes: Journal articles; Conference contributions; Books and book chapters; Physical artifacts; Exhibitions and performances; Digital artifacts (including web content).

In all UoAs, up to four research outputs published between 01 January 2008 and 31 December 2013 must be listed against each member of staff included in the submission, regardless of where the member of staff was employed at the time of publication.

HEIs were allowed to list the maximum of four outputs against any member of staff. However, individuals could be returned with fewer than four outputs without penalty in the assessment, where their individual circumstances had significantly constrained their ability to produce four outputs or to work productively throughout the assessment period. Details of any staff circumstances that the College wished the assessment to take into account were submitted in form REF1b.

Use of citation information

Some sub-panels, in addition to expert peer review, considered the number of times an output has been cited, as additional information about the academic significance. Where relevant, citation information was provided to panels by HEFCE (source: Scopus).

Was citation information used?
Main PanelDid the sub-panels use citation data?
 A Yes - All UoAs
 B Yes - UoAs 7, 8, 9 and 11 only.
 C Yes - UoAs 17 and 18 only
 D No
Was citation information used?

Criteria and definitions of starred levels for the assessment of outputs

Star levelDefinition
4* 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.
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 assessment.
Star ratings explanation