Our vision is for Bournemouth University to be recognised world-wide as a leading university for inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society through the fusion of education, research and practice.
Research is a fundamental part of this aim, and we aspire to increase research quality, volume, and impact. The assessment of research quality and impact is therefore a normal and necessary part of the research activity cycle.
Research assessment is used for decision making, which can sometimes have an impact on the careers of researchers. We therefore champion the use of ‘responsible metrics’, as defined in the Metric Tide report (2015).
We recognise the limitations of using quantitative metrics in research assessment, particularly in some disciplines, and so BU is committed to implementing a robust peer review process as the primary and preferred method of informing research assessment outcome.
However, there are quantitative metrics that can be helpful in assessing research when these are used to support peer review, for example, to provide contextual information. This could include things like publication data; application, award and income data; doctoral student numbers; altmetrics (such as social media mentions); offers to give addresses at conferences and media appearances - as well as discipline specific standards. Quantitative metrics are also used in the external assessment of research quality, for example, in national and international rankings and in external research assessment exercises.
In 2019, BU signed up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) to further demonstrate our commitment and reaffirm our alignment to fair and responsible approach and management of all research assessment at the university; and to build on our core values of BU2025.
Responsible research assessment and management at Bournemouth University - the guiding beliefs
In demonstrating our commitment to the use of responsible metrics in research assessment, and in line with our commitment to DORA, these are the two main guiding beliefs in steering BU’s efforts and strategies to ensure responsible research assessment and management.
BU is dedicated to applying and adhering to the following guiding beliefs where relevant and applicable:
- All research outputs and other research contributions should be evaluated based on their intrinsic value, instead of being assessed based upon inappropriate proxies and metrics such as the title or impact factor of the journal in which the research was published.
- In line with BU’s core Fusion values, the quality and excellence of a researcher’s work will be evaluated in broader terms that could potentially include outputs other than research publications, such as mentoring, public engagement, research contribution to teaching, impacts on policy and practice etc.
Keys to implementation
The following will be used to underpin the implementation of the guiding beliefs:
Precedence of peer review judgement over quantitative measures
Value and impact of all research outputs
Personal accountability in Faculty and staff
Adopting a portfolio view toward researcher contributions
One size does not fit all (discipline)
To ensure BU’s Responsible Research Assessment and Management guiding beliefs and keys to implementation are successfully executed and realised, it is envisaged that the implementation plan document will be operational and regularly updated.
Monitoring and Compliance
BU’s Statement on Responsible Research Assessment and Management and its associated strategies and implementation plan will be subject to an equality analysis as the first step to the monitoring and compliance process.
BU is committed to ensure open, transparent and fair approach in all processes relevant to the BU internal and external peer review process with the aim of increasing equality and diversity of all internal reviewer teams and to reflect the true staff demographic at BU. The Equality and Diversity profile of BU’s internal reviewer teams will be monitored and reported on a regular basis.
No member of staff should receive less favourable treatment by the implementation of this statement.
BU recognises that the embedding of these beliefs will constitute a culture change which will require time and effort. There will therefore be a review progress which takes place on a regular basis and strategies and plans will be refined accordingly as appropriate.
This policy statement and associated plans and approaches will therefore evolve in parallel with the on-going discussions that are taking place amongst all BU academic communities.