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The Assessment of Research Quality: Peer Review or Metrics?

Research output: Working paper

Publication date2009
Place of PublicationLancaster University
PublisherThe Department of Economics
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameEconomics Working Paper Series


This paper investigates the extent to which the outcomes of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, determined by peer review, can be explained by a set of quantitative indicators, some of which were made available to the review panels. Three cognate units of assessment are examined in detail: business & management, economics & econometrics, and accounting & finance. The paper focuses on the extent to which the quality of research output, as determined by the RAE panel, can be explained by the journal quality indicator published by the Association of Business Schools. The main finding is that although a high proportion of the variation between universities in their RAE outcomes can be explained by quantitative indicators, there is insufficient evidence to support the claim by the ABS that its Journal Quality Guide is a sufficiently accurate predictor of research quality to justify a predominant role in the research assessment process. A further finding is that there appears to be an element of bias in the decisions reached by the business & management panel and by the economics & econometrics panel.