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ERIC Number: EJ1164959
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
The Ethics of Research Excellence
Conroy, James C.; Smith, Richard
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v51 n4 p693-708 Nov 2017
We here analyse the ethical dimensions of the UK's "Research Excellence Framework" (REF), the latest (2014) version of an exercise which assesses the quality of university research in the UK every seven or so years. We find many of the common objections to this exercise unfounded, such as that it is excessively expensive by comparison with alternatives such as various metrics, or that it turns on the subjective judgement of the assessors. However there are grounds for concern about the crude language in which for example all relevant scholarship becomes called "research" and publications become "outputs." The focus on the impact of research, which was a new feature of the most recent exercise, is particularly problematic, creating as it does a tendency to what Aristotle called alazony, self-aggrandisement, on the part of academics. We conclude that the REF is a mixed good from an ethical point of view, and that more could be done to mitigate its more unfortunate features.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A