Support for staff research

An important role of CIBS is to provide support for academic staff engaging in research. The Centre´s Directors, Mike Rigby is happy to meet individual members of staff, discuss their research plans and discuss possible avenues of support. An aspect of this role is the reviewing of early drafts of papers intended for publication in peer reviewed journals. Mike is happy to provide detailed feedback on papers before submission to journals. Papers can also be considered for publication as part of the CIBS Research Working Papers series. The papers in this series are refereed and are also edited before going on line. The series receives many visits and is therefore a good dissemination medium for research. The editors encourage staff to see publication in the series as a first step towards publication in outside journals and many papers have indeed been further developed and published outside after being issued as part of the series. Mike can be contacted on rigbymp@lsbu.ac.uk .

The focus of the Centre is to encourage research which can be included in the University´s submission to the next national research evaluation exercise (CIBS co-ordinated the Business and Management submission to the 2008 RAE) . The next exercise, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), takes place in 2014. The Faculty of Business has yet to make a decision as to whether to submit to the Business and Management Panel. The core of submissions tend to be articles in peer review academic journals. 2014 seems a long way off but given the typical period between a paper being submitted and published i.e. one year plus, it will be evident that staff hoping to have a number of articles for inclusion in the REF exercise need to already have made some progress. To see the rating of a particular journal you can access the Harzing collation of various journal ranking systems for Business and Management by going to www.harzing.com/jql.htm (click on Journal Quality List and then on the pdf file for Journal). A fuller summary of the current REF position is given below.

 

Accessing research funds is an important issue for academic researchers. CIBS does not directly have funds to support staff research activity but Mike is happy to discuss other possibilities with researchers. Internal LSBU funding for research is limited.  Funding may be available to support research in the university in order to facilitate attendance at conferences. Normally funding is only forthcoming if a member of staff is presenting a paper. Applications should be made through the Heads of Department on the appropriate form.

To find out about external sources of funding, Sarah Plant, plants@lsbu.ac.uk, is a source of information, particularly in relation to European funds. To get regular up dates of funding opportunities related to their research interest, staff can register with COS funding alert at the COS website. In relation to European research funds to UKRO which has detailed information on all EU funding programmes and where academic staff can set up an account to receive regular alerts ( http://www.ukro.ac.uk ) 

An area where university has been successful in accessing funding is the Government supported Knowledge Transfer Programme which provides funds for joint projects between particular businesses and academic staff. For further information contact Nathan Burgess, on 6922, burgesn@lsbu.ac.uk

A major source of funding for the type of research carried out by staff in Business and Management is the ESRC – details of their grants schemes can be accessed at the ESRC website. The ESRC´s newsletter can be obtained from debbie.stalker@esrc.ac.uk

For guidance on applying for and managing research projects it is worth going to the Univeristy's Research and Consultancy Handbook for help at-http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/rbdo/docs/Docs%

It is increasingly important for researchers to give the greatest possible exposure to their research and publications so that they have the maximum possibility of being accessed directly and cited by other researchers. The University is currently investigating a repository system for the publications of academic staff to facilitate this and we will provide updates on this page of developments in this project. In the meantime CIBS has introduced the facility to locate  preprints on its website to encourage their dissemination (a preprint is a copy of a paper before it has been sent to reviewers). CIBS members can do this themselves - other staff should send their paper to Mike Rigby who will put it on the site. CIBS will also publish on its news page details of new publications of academic staff.

In seeking to publish research a key decision is which journal to approach - 'Journal Citation Reports'  enables you to search the impact factors of research journals in the fields of social science and science - see http://lispac.lsbu.ac.uk/record=e1000202

Any suggestions for improving this page will be very much welcomed e.g. additional website links or areas of information.

 

REF 2014.


July was a busy month in relation to the next research evaluation exercise.
Early in the month the Assessment framework and guidance on submissions were published. Available at:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/pubs/2011/02_11
In the last week of July the Consultation on draft panel criteria and working methods was published. This includes the approach proposed for the Business and Management Panel (Panel 19).  Consultation is open until October 5th. The document is available at available at:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/pubs/2011/03_11 
 

Key dates in relation to the exercise are;
31st July 2013 – End of assessment period (for research impacts, the research environment, and data about research income and research doctoral degrees awarded.

31st October 2013 - Census date for staff eligible for selection
29th November 2013 – Closing date for submissions

31st December 2013 – end of publication period i.e. eligible publications will be those published between 1/1/08 and 31/12/13 
 

The Business and Management Panel
The approach of Panel 19 is obviously located within the REF framework and guidance. Thus the overall assessment of a submission will be based on three criteria – research output (65%), Impact (20%) and environment (15%). 

Output will be assessed on the basis of the submission of four items of research output, in practice in many cases there may well be publications although a number of other types of output are mentioned as being acceptable as long as they based on original research e.g. digital artefacts such as software, web content, conference papers. Journal rankings will not be used in the exercise (although this does not of course prevent them having an informal influence nor does it necessarily prevent individual universities using them in deciding which staff to submit).
 Impact will involve the evaluation of case studies of the impact of the submission’s research on society beyond academia e.g. economy, society, culture.  The research underpinning impact case studies should have taken place between 1/1/93 and 31/12/13

Environment will be related to areas such as doctoral students and research income.
Panel 19 will not use citation evidence. 

 
An LSBU Submission?

No decision has yet been taken on whether LSBU will make a submission to panel 19 but our approach will have to be determined soon. It is not an easy decision. The experience of the last RAE when a small number of staff were submitted was that it involved a lot of work, and although the performance was creditable, the amount of funding achieved was small(because of the low number submitted) and was not retained within the faculty. On the other hand participation in the exercise is important professionally for a significant number of academic staff and a creditable performance would enhance the profile of the Faculty, particularly at postgraduate.
It does seem clear that unless a creditable performance is likely no submission should be made.