Open and fair review

October 10, 2003

Paddy Scannell and Philip Schlesinger have undermined their arguments on research assessment by attacking Sir Gareth Roberts (Opinion, THES , October 3).

They outline two principles: inclusiveness and assessment of departments rather than individuals. The Roberts review does not advocate rating individuals. On exclusivity, it says the assessment burden should be proportionate to the likely rewards. The research assessment review was set up to advise funding councils on the future of the research assessment exercise. Sir Gareth has worked in good faith to produce that advice. He has stated his assumptions, enabling critics to challenge him. It is for funding councils to decide on his recommendations.

David Eastwood
Vice-chancellor
University of East Anglia

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