REF2021 : The Home Stretch

A Year in Review: 2019 4

As we approach the release of our last major phase of REF2021 development work, we thought it might be a nice time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in Elements since the publication of the REF2021 Guidance on Submissions back in January 2019.

Working collaboratively with the Elements REF Steering Group and the wider Elements REF community, we quickly identified the development priorities for 2019, focusing initially on the selection, acceptance, and attribution of REF2 research outputs.  By the end of the year, we’d delivered REF1 Researcher functionality, and are now focussing on the last stages which include the production of the REF2021 submission XML file (for upload to the REF Submission System) and validation reporting as per the REF2021 validation rules.

Visual Analytics

In the past year, we have delivered the following REF2021 functionality in Elements:

  • 4 new ‘management’ screen pages
    • Manage Unit
    • Manage Selections
    • Manage REF2 Outputs
    • Manage REF1 Researchers
  • 2 new form pages
    • REF2 Research Output (5 tabs)
    • REF1 Researchers
  • 4 stock reports
  • 6 bulk jobs (2 of which have been implemented within the wider Assessment module, for use beyond REF2021)

We have also published 39 support articles
with over 1,800 page views!

REF2021 : The Home Stretch 1

Our upcoming 5.20 release in April is expected to include the following functionality:

  • Generation of REF submission XML file
  • REF validation stock report
  • REF dashboards, enabling Unit summaries and overviews to be easily obtained
  • REF2 physical / electronic output submission management
  • Unit lock out
  • Additions to existing screens to help REF managers better monitor submission accuracy, quality, and completeness


Want to speak to someone on the Symplectic team about supporting REF? Contact Us! 

The automatic search features are a bonus. I really like the way the new entries arrive automatically, and all I have to do is respond to the prompt to approve them. Navigation in the new release is intuitive and friendly. Linking directly to DOIs and full text is convenient and makes it easy to access and share my own research.

Professor Penny Brothers, University of Auckland

Elements elegantly connected our multi-university system providing a
single source of truth throughout OIEx.

Tim Cain, The Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx)

The University measures the individual research activity of academic staff. This Measure of Research Activity (MoRA) requires the collection of publication data from faculty. Symplectic Elements supports this beautifully.

Floris van der Leest, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

[Elements] will help to bring transparency to the richness of thought showcased within non-traditional publications, providing a more holistic representation of faculties’ scholarly work.

Caleb Smith, University of Michigan

Feedback to date has been extremely positive from all levels across the University, with individual academics and colleagues actively promoting the ease of use of the system.

Rachel Baird, Research Policy Analyst, University of Liverpool