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REF reviewing guidelines

Mock REF panel

These materials were created for the School of Computer Science Mock REF panel on 2 November 2015 to understand how better to write and aim for 4* outputs.

These are useful resources to understand more on differentiating between 3* and 4* outputs.

Examples of evidence and indicators of impact

Economic impacts
  • Business performance measures, for example, sales, turnover, profits or employment associated with new or improved products, processes or services.
  • Licences awarded and brought to market.
  • Jobs created or protected.
  • Investment funding raised from UK and/or non-UK agencies (venture capital/Business Angel, and so on) for start-up businesses and new activities of existing businesses.
  • Evidence of critical impact on particular projects, products and processes confirmed by independent authoritative evidence, which should be financial where possible.
  • Priority shifts in expenditure profiles or quantifiable reallocation of corporate, non-profit or public budgets.
Impacts on public policy and services
  • Documented evidence of policy debate (for example, in Parliament, the media, material produced by NGOs).
  • Documented evidence of changes to public policy/legislation/regulations/guidelines.
  • Measures of improved public services, including, where appropriate, quantitative information; such information may relate for example to the quality, accessibility or cost-effectiveness of public services.
  • Documented evidence of changes to international development policies.
  • Measures of improved international welfare or inclusion.
Impacts on society, culture and creativity
  • Visitor or audience numbers and feedback.
  • Critical reviews in the media and/or other professional publications.
  • Evidence of public debate in the media or other fora.
  • Evidence of sustained and ongoing engagement with a group.
  • Measures of increased attainment and/or measures of improved engagement with science in non-HE education.
Health impacts
  • Evidence from clinical trials.
  • Measures of improved patient outcomes, public health or health services.
  • Documented changes to clinical guidelines.
  • Evidence of take-up and use of new or improved products and processes that improve quality of life in developing countries.
Impacts on practitioners and professional
  • Traceable reference to inclusion of research in national or services international industry standards or authoritative guidance.
  • Traceable references by practitioners to research papers that describe their use and the impact of the research.
  • New or modified professional standards and codes of practice.
  • New or modified technical standards or protocols.
  • Documented changes in knowledge, capability or behaviours of individuals benefiting from training.
Impacts on the environment
  • Sales of new products or improvements in existing products that bring quantifiable environmental benefits.
  • Traceable impacts on particular projects or processes which bring environmental benefits.
  • Evidence of generic environmental impact across a sector, confirmed by independent authoritative evidence.
  • Documented case-specific improvements to environment-related issues.
  • Traceable reference to inclusion of research into government policy papers, legislation and industry guidance.
  • Traceable reference to impact of research in planning decision outcomes.
  • Policy documentation.