Research

Interim Working Paper – History Journals and Plan S

On 29 July the RHS released an Interim Working Paper offering a preliminary mapping of current preparedness for Plan S open access implementation among UK and international ‘hybrid’ History journals.

Aimed primarily at scholarly editors and editorial boards, History learned societies, publishers of Humanities journals, and funding bodies, this working paper is based on a preliminary analysis of survey responses provided by 50 UK and international History journals.

Since then, we have continued to elicit further evidence, feedback and corrections. With more than a hundred responses to our survey now in, we intend to publish a more comprehensive analysis in early October.

A key aim of the report will be to inform contributions to the forthcoming UKRI Open Access Review.

If you are an editor of a History journal, based anywhere in the world, and have not yet completed the survey, please download the RHS Survey of Journal Editors (July 2019) and return it to rescommsofficer@royalhistsoc.org by 10 September 2019.

Please download the Interim Working Paper, and send any feedback or corrections to rescommsofficer@royalhistsoc.org.

 

New Funding to support BME Histories

The Social History Society, Economic History Society and History UK have launched a new funding scheme to support Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) history.

The BME Events and Activities Small Grants Scheme will provide grants of up to £750 to support activities and events run by BME historians or on subjects relating to BME history. An initial call for applications for funding is now open until 1 September 2019. The new funding addresses issues detailed in the Royal Historical Society’s report on Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History (2018) which drew attention to under-representation, structural inequalities and racism in the UK higher education system.

Full details of the BME funding scheme are available here: http://socialhistory.org.uk/bme-events-and-activities/.

A panel of experts, comprised of Professor Catherine Hall (University College London), Dr Meleisa Ono-George (University of Warwick) and Dr Jonathan Saha (University of Leeds), will assess the applications.

Professor Margot Finn, RHS President commented:

The announcement of this new tranche of dedicated funding for black and minority ethnic (BME) histories and historians is especially timely.  The past several months have seen a wide range of historians engage with the structural and intellectual problems associated with BME under-representation in History in the UK.  This positive development has increased the demand for funding to support BME historians whose expertise is vital to informed discussions on equality, diversity and inclusion in our discipline, and (more broadly) for new sources of funding to support workshops and other events that challenge conventional assumptions and practices. We hope that organisers of such events will also make good use of the funding available from the Royal Historical Society.

 

 

 

RHS Working Paper – History Researchers and Plan S (Journal) Compliance (April 2019)

Wellcome Trust, Medical History/Humanities & Plan S: RHS Interim Working Paper

This RHS working paper explores Plan S developments primarily from the perspective of Wellcome-funded Humanities researchers (for whom the policy applies to new research article submissions from 1 January 2020).  The paper formed part of a wider discussion with Robert Kiley and Simon Chaplin of the Trust on 9 April 2019.  A representative from Wellcome will offer a response in late May, at which time a further clarification of Plan S implementation guidance is expected.  We’ll post the Wellcome response when it is in hand and hope that these texts will help Wellcome-funded historians as well as History journals and learned societies navigate the new Plan S requirements.

The Working Paper can be downloaded here.

A meeting of UK History editors and learned society representatives is being held at the Institute for Historical Research on 26 April 2019, to discuss the potential implications of Plan S and the best ways of responding to this new development.  We (RHS) will aim to report back on the this meeting if information that might be useful for History researchers emerges from its discussions.  However, given that additional guidance on Plan S is expected in late May, we would expect that to be the most likely point at which greater clarification is available.

In the meantime, for Wellcome Trust-funded historians planning research article submissions from 1 January 2020, at the moment (and NB this is a rapidly moving frontier) the most likely route to Plan S compliance in the short-term looks to be self-deposit of the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PMC with a CC BY licence and zero-embargo.  You will find this pathway described in:

To determine whether the Wellcome Trust will cover APC charges for your preferred publication from 1 January 2020, see their updated open access guidance.

The Royal Historical Society does not at present have a full list of History journals with a zero embargo policy for AAMs, but examples of publisher open access policies include:

  • Cambridge Journals Open Access policy.
  • Oxford Journals policy on complying with funder OA requirements.
  • Taylor and Francis/Routledge Open Access options finder by journal.
  • Wiley policy on self-archiving.
  • Elsevier policy for self-archiving.

We welcome feedback on this document. Please contact Dr Katherine Foxhall, RHS Research and Communications Manager by email: k.foxhall@royalhistsoc.org

 

 

Updated Guidance on Submissions and Panel Working Criteria for REF2021

Professor Dinah Birch (Department of English, University of Liverpool), Chair of REF2021 Main Panel D, recently presented a set of slides summarising the main changes and clarifications within the REF guidelines following the consultation.  We are pleased to share those slides, and provide context relevant to historians on our blog here.

 

REF2014 History Sub-panel Report

In advance of the REF2021 process, the Royal Historical Society wishes to highlight the REF2014 History Sub-panel report to historians and departments. The report can be viewed and downloaded here.

 

REF2021 Draft Guidance & Criteria Consultation

Via REF2021:

“The UK’s four higher education funding bodies have published the draft guidance and criteria on making submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, for consultation.

The four bodies – the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council, the Department for the Economy, NI, and Research England – are seeking views from subject communities on the draft Panel criteria publication developed by the REF expert panels.

They are also calling for responses on key aspects of the Guidance on submissions publication, which they have developed with advice from the expert panels, including the equality and diversity, and interdisciplinary research advisory panels.

Consultation responses are invited from any higher education institution, association, organisation or individual with an interest in the conduct, quality, funding or use of research. Consultation responses should be submitted online at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/DTZ1O/ by 12 noon on 15 October 2018. Further information about the REF is available at www.ref.ac.uk.”

 

History Sub-Panel for REF 2021

REF 2021 is now gearing up with the appointment of the Main and Sub-Panels having taken place over 2017/18.   Professor Mark Jackson from Exeter University has been appointed Chair of the History Sub-Panel, with the support of the RHS.

Nominations for membership of the REF sub-panels were then sought from scholarly bodies. In contrast to previous exercises, societies were required to demonstrate that they had followed an open nomination process with an emphasis on equality and diversity. An unintended consequence of this requirement appears to have been that many smaller bodies that nominated directly to the previous REF chose not to do so, as they lacked the capacity to comply with the E and D requirements. Some smaller historical societies, for example, this time chose to forward nominations to the RHS.

 

RHS Nomination Process

On 7 November 2017, the Royal Historical Society issued a call for nominations to all Fellows. The call was posted on the RHS website, and circulated to members of Council, who were invited to disseminate it further, and specific, strong encouragement for nominations from among groups under-represented in REF2014. Self-nominations and those where nominator and nominee were employed by the same HEI, were excluded, but nominees were not required to be Fellows or Members of the RHS.

Recognising the need for a balance between continuity and new blood within the sub-panel, the RHS directly contacted members of the REF2014 sub-panel to ask if they would wish to be reconsidered for nomination. Our offer was not extended to those who had already served on more than one previous exercise, however.

After the nominations process closed, the nominations were reviewed by the President and the incoming and outgoing Vice Presidents for Research Policy (Jonathan Morris and Mary Vincent).

Adhering to a strict principle of including only one sub-panel nominee from each HEI, we compiled a set of nominations that reflected the major sub-fields in historical studies that we expect to see represented in final submissions to the panel.   In cases where we felt we lacked sufficient awareness of the field, we took advice from senior historians who were not among our nominees – usually past sub-panel members.   Altogether we submitted 40 nominations: 32 practising researchers to the History sub-panel, 3 to the Area Studies sub-panel and 1 to the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management sub-panel; plus 4 assessors of the wider use and benefits of research to the History sub-panel.

We were particularly concerned to monitor for equality and diversity among our nominations, especially given that the REF2014 panel was all white, and included only one representative of a post-92 institution.   Of the 36 practising researcher nominations submitted by the RHS, 3 came from BAME backgrounds and 6 held positions in post ’92 institutions. 14 of the 40 were women, a somewhat disappointing proportion, but significantly higher than the c.21% within the UK history professoriate. 1 of our 4 impact assessor nominees was female, and we ensured a balance between London and non-London based nominees within this category.

 

Eventual Sub-panel Composition

At the end of February 2018, the first sets of appointments to the new REF sub-panels were announced. These were divided into two – an initial criteria-setting group who have begun meeting in 2018, and who will be joined in 2020 by a second set of already appointed output assessors.   A final set of sub-panellists will be appointed in 2020, following the declaration of submission intentions by UoAs, in order to align the panel’s capacity to review outputs and impact case studies to this.

18 History sub-panellists have so far been appointed – 8 for the criteria setting phase, 10 to be added as assessors in 2020. Of these 9 are female, 1 comes from a BAME background, and 1 works at a post-’92 institution.   9 were members of the REF 2014 sub-panel.   14 of the 18 sub-panellists received a nomination from the RHS.   3 RHS officers have been appointed to the sub-panel, including the President who will also serve as Deputy Chair of the panel. The appointed History sub-panellists are listed below.

Jonathan Morris
Vice President, Chair of Research Policy Committee

 

Criteria Phase
Prof. Mark Jackson (Exeter), Chair
Prof. Frances Andrews (St Andrews)
Prof. Margot Finn (UCL)
Prof. Matthew Hilton (QMUL)
Prof. Jonathan Morris (Hertfordshire)
Prof. Joy Porter (Hull), Interdisciplinary Adviser
Prof. Lyndal Roper (Oxford)
Prof. David Souden (British Museum)

Additions for Assessment Phase
Prof. Lynn Abrams (Glasgow)
Prof. Pratik Chakrabarti (Manchester)
Prof. Catherine Cubitt (East Anglia)
Prof. Michael Hughes (Lancaster)
Prof. Claire Langhamer (Sussex)
Prof. Paul Nugent (Edinburgh)
Prof. Phillipp Schofield (Aberystwyth)
Prof. Julian Swann (Birkbeck)
Prof. Mary Vincent (Sheffield)
Prof. Alex Walsham (Cambridge)

 

Call for Nominations to REF2021 History Sub-Panel

The Royal Historical Society has been invited by HEFCE to nominate sub-panel members for REF2021 and will be looking to put forward c.50 names before nominations close in December 2017.

This important process requires us to balance the number of nominees needed to cover particular sub-disciplinary areas with equality and diversity considerations and HEFCE’s intention to have c. a third of the sub-panel with previous REF panel experience with, correspondingly, at least c. a third new members.

It is vital that the History sub-panel reflects the range, institutional variety and expertise of our discipline (including an ability to assess research published in languages other than English), and that its membership commands the confidence of the profession.

To help achieve this goal, the RHS is inviting Fellows to contact us with the names and disciplinary areas of potential nominees. Suggestions for both full sub-panel members (responsible for assessing outputs, environments and impacts) and for impact reviewers who work outside the Higher Education sector will be welcome. In keeping with HEFCE’s wider nominating process, the Society will not consider either individual self-nominations or nominations made by a colleague at the nominee’s own university.

Prior to contacting the Society, Fellows are kindly requested to read carefully the HEFCE guidance on REF sub-panel membership, available here.

Note should be taken (1) of the very substantial time commitment required in a discipline in which output assessment is undertaken by qualitative reading, often of lengthy texts; and (2) that sub-panel membership typically entails both travel and periods of over-night accommodation away from sub-panel members’ home institutions.

Fellows should be aware that we expect to receive many more names than we will be able to nominate, reflecting the strength of History in the UK. Following HEFCE guidance on diversity and reaching out to under-represented groups, we strongly encourage nominations from those under-represented in REF2014 panels

All suggestions for potential sub-panel members should be sent to
rhsref2021@royalhistsoc.org, before 12:00 noon on Wednesday 22 November.

In suggesting names for the Society’s consideration, please include the following information, in the following order, in the body of your email:

1) Confirmation that you are currently a Fellow of the RHS (Y/N);

2) Full name of proposed REF sub-panel member;

3) Email address of proposed nominee;

4) Institutional address of proposed nominee;

5) URL of candidate’s individual page on institutional/professional website;

6) Field(s) of specialism of proposed nominee (region, chronology, sub-disciplinary area, and/or methodology, as appropriate);

7) Any known prior experience of peer-review in History (editorial experience, research council assessment boards, etc.)