Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) were conducted in the United Kingdom in 1992 and 1996. The grades obtained by university departments determined the ratios with which public funds were to be distributed to universities to support research infrastructure, within a centralized and publicly funded university system. Other geopolitical regions would have comparable exercises, although with different approaches to research evaluation, and initial information about specific criteria and procedures used in the RAE could be obtained from funding council Web sites.1 The significance of the grades obtained led to a variety of published responses. Many focused on the discipline of assessment. A few had broader concerns: citation analyses, arguing that this technique should replace established assessment procedures 2, 3, 4; surveys by the funding councils 5, 6; and my review of the public reception of the RAE 1996.7

In that review, I offer a brief critique of the...

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