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The Assessment of Research Quality: Peer Review or Metrics?

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  • J Taylor

Abstract

This paper investigates the extent to which the outcomes of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, determined by peer review, can be explained by a set of quantitative indicators, some of which were made available to the review panels. Three cognate units of assessment are examined in detail: business & management, economics & econometrics, and accounting & finance. The paper focuses on the extent to which the quality of research output, as determined by the RAE panel, can be explained by the journal quality indicator published by the Association of Business Schools. The main finding is that although a high proportion of the variation between universities in their RAE outcomes can be explained by quantitative indicators, there is insufficient evidence to support the claim by the ABS that its Journal Quality Guide is a sufficiently accurate predictor of research quality to justify a predominant role in the research assessment process. A further finding is that there appears to be an element of bias in the decisions reached by the business & management panel and by the economics & econometrics panel.

Suggested Citation

  • J Taylor, 2009. "The Assessment of Research Quality: Peer Review or Metrics?," Working Papers 602544, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:lan:wpaper:602544
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    File URL: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/lums/economics/working-papers/ResearchQuality.pdf
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    1. Jim Taylor, "undated". "Measuring Research Performance in Business Managment Studies in the United Kingdom: the 1992 Research Assessment Exercise," Working Papers ec15/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
    2. Jim Taylor, "undated". "A Statistical Analysis of the 1992 Research Assessment Exercise," Working Papers ec14/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
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