University of Spin: every British university is ranked #1 for research

The UK government published the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) results today. One goal of this exercise is to make it easier for everyone to see who is winning and losing at academic research1. The Times Higher Education website has produced a Table of Excellence showing the overall rankings.

The underlying results are broken down by different subject area, measured using three different criteria (‘Output’, ‘Impact’, and ‘Environment’, each of which is further broken down into four main grades (1* through to 4*). All of which means that everyone has something to cheer about.

If you looked at the #REF2014 hashtag on twitter today, you might conclude that everyone is a winner. I’ve gathered together some of these tweets in the Storify below, but also check out the tweets at the end which offer further comment regarding all of this spinning:

  1. In reality, these results will be used to distribute future research funding to universities.