Change rules to end game-play 1

September 29, 2006

Ed Hughes, the research assessment exercise manager, could easily minimise game-playing by universities that don't submit all researchers ("RAE 2008: only the very best need apply", September 22).

He could publish a list of the overall proportions of research in each institution awarded each quality rating, giving all non-submitted staff a rating of zero. Leaving researchers out of the submission would practically guarantee universities a lower place in that league table.

The funding councils could help by promising to give the same amount of cash to a given volume of high-quality research, whether it is 5 per cent or 95 per cent of a submission. Finance and reputation would then push in the same direction, and would penalise game-playing.

Richard Green
Birmingham University

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