The way that the Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise is conducted overlooks many of the people who are vital to the success of research. In this episode of the Code for Thought podcast we hear from Gemma Derrick, part of the organising committee for the Hidden REF, which recognises all research outputs and every role that makes research possible.
Publications rarely name all of the people who make research possible, yet these were the basis for 97% of the outputs submitted to REF 2014. This is not the fault of the REF itself: the guidelines allow submission into a wide range of categories, from software to musical compositions. But with so much funding reliant on the results, universities are highly risk-averse in what they will submit. Publications are well understood in academia, so they are almost the only output submitted to REF – and this means the work of many people goes unrecognised. The goal of the Hidden REF is to celebrate all research outputs and the people who make them possible.