The Forum for Responsible Metrics is developing a programme of activities to support the responsible use of research metrics in higher education institutions and across the research community in the UK. It focuses on the recommendations made in the
Metric Tide report.
The Forum will advise on, and work to improve, the data infrastructure that underpins metric use and the culture of research metrics.
The Forum will offer advice to the UK higher education funding bodies on how quantitative indicators might be used in assessing research outputs, environments and impact in REF2021.
The forum is a partnership between the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Research Councils UK, the Wellcome Trust, Universities UK and Jisc.
The forum is chaired by Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), University College London (UCL). Its members are representatives and experts from university management, academic leadership, research administration and research metrics.
The five partners recognise the wide interest in this work and expect to contact and involve other stakeholders in their discussions. Regular updates will be posted here.
Metrics form part of an evolving and increasingly digital research environment, where data and analysis are playing an ever greater role. However, the current description, production and use of these metrics are experimental and open to misunderstanding, and can lead to negative effects and behaviours as well as positive ones.
Responsible metrics can be defined by the following key principles:
The Forum for Responsible Research Metrics are surveying research
organisations to understand how they are implementing policies on the use of
responsible research metrics. The Forum would like to
understand the extent to which research organisations are implementing the
principles/frameworks outlined in the San Francisco Declaration on Research
Assessment (DORA http://www.ascb.org/dora/),
the Leiden Manifesto (http://www.leidenmanifesto.org/)
and The Metric Tide (http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rereports/year/2015/metrictide/).
Responses will be used in order to develop advice to the sector on practical ways to implement the culture of responsible research metrics using the principles/frameworks outlined above. It will also inform any recommendations the Forum makes to UKRI. Based on the responses received the Forum will consider whether to develop an agreement with similar ambitions to DORA, utilising The Metric Tide report, which aligns with the UK research base.
Universities UK are hosting this survey on behalf of the Forum.
We seek one response per research organisation. To respond to this survey (which will be reported on at aggregate level ensuring anonymity) please follow this link: The culture of research metrics in UK research organisations - a survey (a PDF form is also available).
Please contact Claire Fraser for any questions regarding this survey.
One key aim of the Forum for Responsible Research Metrics is to provide advice to UK HE funding bodies, via the REF team, on the use of metrics in REF2021 in the three elements of the assessment.
In February 2017 the Forum provided advice on the use of quantitative indicators in the assessment of outputs in REF2021. This advice is given in response to questions circulated by HEFCE as a basis for discussion at the Forum's first meeting.
9th February 2017 -
Metrics in REF2021: Advice from the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics
The REF consultation, published in December 2016, sought sector comment on:
Summaries of the
REF consultation responses can be found on the HEFCE website.
REF initial decisions document, published 1 September 2017, announced that the UOA level environment element of REF2021 will be assessed on the basis of a more structured template, including the use of more quantitative data to evidence narrative content.
The Forum, in May 2017, requested that a working group should be set up to provide detailed advice on the use of metrics/indicators in environment. They have been asked to advice on the use of more quantitative data that is already collected and held by institutions. The working group will provide advice to the FFRRM, which will make recommendations to the REF team, REF panel chairs and the UK funding bodies.
Advice to the REF team and REF panels will be published on this webpage in spring 2018.
The working group have also been asked to provide advice on the development of guidelines for the use of standard quantitative data as evidence for impact.