REF2021 Development Plans

Hi all!

As you may have seen, I recently joined the Elements team (yay!), and I've been asked to lead on the development of REF2021 functionality (I managed the University of Edinburgh's RAE2008 and REF2014 submissions, and am joining Digital Science from the Pure team at Elsevier where I product managed reporting and assessment functionality).

We are currently working on our detailed REF2021 development plans through 2020, and we will be in touch about these in the coming weeks.

In the meantime though, we wanted to advise you of our most immediate plans for 5.15 (May release):

Following on from the 5.14.1 release that includes functionality that begins to look at managing outputs through a group view, rather than on a per-individual level, we will continue to focus our efforts in the short term on delivering functionality supporting this concept, along with building up the REF2 data model.  We currently aim for this to include:

  • Expanding functionality available via the new Manage Selections screen to assist in the UoA selection/attribution decision-making process.
  • Introducing the ability for REF managers to capture selection statuses that will be used a basis for UoA level aggregation
  • Supporting restricted visibility of REF-specific fields to REF managers only
  • Adding REF-specific fields such as Double-weighting request, Interdisciplinary flag, Output allocation, and Additional information

Many thanks!


2 people like this

Hi Manya

Do you have an indicative date yet for the final REF release.  From memory you were saying this would be the 5.21 release which would be around March/April timeframe after giving some time for any technical changes coming out of the REF portal.



Hi Nicky

We plan for the final REF release to be the upcoming 5.20 March release (intended 2020 release dates are available at  Note though that the REF team have revised their intended timetable (see, which may have an impact on our ability to get *everything* into that final release.  So long as nothing significant changes in the requirements, published XML schema, and validation rules (expected this week), we may be talking about minor changes that we can accommodate with a 5.20 release patch.  But we're just going to have to play it a bit by ear.

I'm pretty confident that we're on track - so long as the REF team don't throw us too much of a curveball after February, we don't expect to have to include any further REF functionality in a major release following the 5.20 release.



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