Double trouble

August 6, 2015

The supposed “doubling” of research quality in life sciences reflects both numerator and denominator (“REF triumph of life sciences ‘lacks credibility’”, News, 30 July). As judged by the fact that it came near the bottom of the post hoc table of grade point averages by unit of assessment, life sciences was excessively tough in the 2008 research assessment exercise; it was presumably recalibrated in 2014. And if something becomes 2.38 times bigger than a predecessor, it does not increase by 238 per cent.

Douglas Kell
Research chair in bioanalytical science School of Chemistry, and Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester

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