Apples and oranges

January 14, 2010

With reference to your article "Union 'incensed' by staff research profiles" (7 January), the University of Leeds is exploring the feasibility of developing sets of metrics that describe academic activity for each member of staff. The metrics fall into three themes: research; innovation and knowledge-transfer activity; and education. The metrics within the research theme cover income, students supervised and outputs above a quality threshold.

The profiles being developed by Leeds differ from those being drawn up by the University of Manchester because their purpose is to collate data held in a number of separate systems and present them in a standardised, transparent and consistent format, not to interpret them. Activity within a theme won't be aggregated into a single score.

John Fisher, Deputy vice-chancellor, University of Leeds.

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