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Predicting results of the Research Excellence Framework using departmental h-index


  • O. Mryglod

    () (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)

  • R. Kenna

    (Coventry University)

  • Yu. Holovatch

    (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)

  • B. Berche

    (Université de Lorraine, Statistical Physics Group, IJL, UMR CNRS 7198)


We compare estimates for past institutional research performances coming from two bibliometric indicators to the results of the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise which last took place in 2008. We demonstrate that a version of the departmental h-index is better correlated with the actual results of that peer-review exercise than a competing metric known as the normalised citation-based indicator. We then determine the corresponding h-indices for 2008–2013, the period examined in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. We place herewith the resulting predictions on the arXiv in advance of the REF results being published (December 2014). These may be considered as unbiased predictions of relative performances in that exercise. We will revisit this paper after the REF results are available and comment on the reliability or otherwise of these bibliometrics as compared with peer review.

Suggested Citation

  • O. Mryglod & R. Kenna & Yu. Holovatch & B. Berche, 2015. "Predicting results of the Research Excellence Framework using departmental h-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(3), pages 2165-2180, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1512-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-014-1512-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. O. Mryglod & R. Kenna & Yu. Holovatch & B. Berche, 2013. "Absolute and specific measures of research group excellence," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 95(1), pages 115-127, April.
    2. Jean-Francois Molinari & Alain Molinari, 2008. "A new methodology for ranking scientific institutions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(1), pages 163-174, April.
    3. O. Mryglod & R. Kenna & Yu. Holovatch & B. Berche, 2013. "Comparison of a citation-based indicator and peer review for absolute and specific measures of research-group excellence," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 97(3), pages 767-777, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Tooley & Barrie Craven, 2018. "Private Sector Alternatives to the Research Excellence Framework for University League Tables," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 434-443, October.
    2. Giovanni Abramo & Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo & Emanuela Reale, 2019. "Peer review versus bibliometrics: Which method better predicts the scholarly impact of publications?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 121(1), pages 537-554, October.
    3. Lloyd D Balbuena, 2018. "The UK Research Excellence Framework and the Matthew effect: Insights from machine learning," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(11), pages 1-13, November.


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