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Publishing for the RAE and beyond

1 February 2006

As the RAE again looms large over the academic community, so the pressure to publish intensifies. But is the relationship between publication and research assessment a harmless necessity or is it a disruptive influence that distorts both scholarly communication and funding allocation? A conference hosted by University College London (UCL) on Wednesday 29 June will explore the role that publication plays in the assessment of research building up to the next Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008.

In the context of debates about the effect that the RAE has on research behaviour and the effectiveness of the current scholarly communication model, the conference will also look ahead to ask some fundamental questions about how this relationship may change in the future: how can publishers, academics and information professionals accommodate the need to assess research without affecting their common aim – effective dissemination of high quality research?

Speakers at the conference will include:

• Bahram Bekhradnia, Director, Higher Education Policy Institute – What is the RAE trying to achieve, and why is it different this time?
• Sir John Beringer, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Bristol University and Chair, RAE Panel D – The main panel chair’s perspective;
• Professor Dave Delpy, Vice Provost (Research), UCL – The university perspective
• John Thompson, Professor of Sociology, Cambridge – The academic’s perspective
• Leo Walford, Sage Publications and Steve Smith, John Wiley & Sons – the publishers’ perspective.

Topics for discussion will include:

• To what extent is the RAE driving academics’ publication behaviour;
• Does the RAE affect where authors choose to publish and does this distort the market?
• Does the RAE affect the publishing process?

Notes for Editors

1. The conference is presented by UCL, The Publishers Association and The Times Higher Education Supplement.
2. The conference begins at 1.30, in the Cruciform Building, Gower Street, UCL, London WC1.
3. Journalists wishing to attend should contact Dominique Fourniol in the UCL media relations office on 0207 679 9728.