Maybe I missed it, but I cannot find any mention in The Times Higher or elsewhere that the Higher Education Funding Council for England has put back the final publication cut-off date for the 2008 research assessment exercise.
In its original timetable, published in February 2004, the cut-off date was July 31, 2007. This was repeated in the further discussion of issues for panels in July 2004. But the recently issued Guidance to Panels (January 12, 2005) states that, while the "end of assessment period for research income and research student data" remains July 31, 2007, the "end of publication period (cut-off point for publication of research outputs)" is now December 31, 2007 - an additional five months' grace period for all us beleaguered souls to squeeze out another piece of improbable research, and an additional five months for publishers and editors to mark in their diaries as "watch out for desperate academics chasing up publication dates". But it raises the intriguing possibility that the timetable might change again - RAE 2009, perhaps, please?
Richard Hull Senior lecturer
Newcastle upon Tyne University