“1*, 2*, 3*- Who Cares?”

WEEK SEVEN: THE REF

For our final week with Tony Mason we were asked to research the changing dynamics of publishing and The REF.

The Research Excellence Framework, known as The REF, is a process to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by higher education institutions. Academics are to publish 4 pieces of high quality work in 7 years and they are ranked wth a four-point quality scale.

It was interesting to hear opinions on the matter as everybody differed. I personally disagree with The REF as I feel that it is not as easily transferable to all academic subjects such as medicine. Of course I can see the reason as to why they do it as it does encourage academics to advance in their field however I feel that this may push some into producing work for the sake of it! Some work may lack in detail and passion if they have to meet a specific deadline and it can take them away from their primary profession if research takes precedence.

We briefly touched on the desire for Open Access materials to become available free of charge and the growth of Amazon and competitive means of book selling. They are both topics that will have a huge impact on publishing and may cause some issues as there is a change in digital publishing.

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