Skip to Main Content

Elements Assessment Module Guide

The Elements Assessment Exercise 'REF2029 Contributions to Knowledge & Understanding Initial Assessments' has been designed to support UoAs in recording and managing outputs reviews and scores, accessing various REF dashboards and reports, and managing their REF2029 submission. 

The Assessment module extends the reuse of data already held in Elements and supports the capture of contextual information by researchers in a private part of the system devoted to output review. 

The developers of Elements intend to update the assessment module based on REF2029 guidance, which is slated to be released by REF in late 2025-26. Currently, the module is researcher-centric, meaning reviewers are assigned to a researcher rather than individual outputs; in future it will likely become more output-centric if/when REF's proposed decoupling of outputs and researchers is implemented. 

The infographics below describe the steps and stages of the assessment exercise.

Please note: the Elements assessment module hasn't been updated since the REF2021 submission, so some guidance within the exercise still mentions REF2021. Please disregard this; the providers of Elements plan to update the module once full REF2029 guidance has been released. We will update this guidance material and let you know of any key changes to the exercise when this happens.

Please note: The RQI team are working with Schools and relevant teams to map and improve the way researcher data is held and transferred at Sussex, with the hope that data such as FTE, HESA ID etc. can be automatically pulled into Elements and the assessment module. Until this work is complete, the assessment module will not display this information, including a UoA's number of required outputs, correctly. For accurate FTE information for your UoA, please use the Research Dashboard. This figure should be multiplied by 2.5 to get your UoA's number of required outputs (you can also view this information on your UoA's targets spreadsheet).

Exercise overview

The assessment module has three stages: 
- Stage 1:Output selection and supporting information
- Stage 2: Self-review
- Stage 3: Review

Alongside the three stages, exercise Managers can run reports, view individual and overall progress of the exercise, and accept outputs for potential inclusion in their REF2029 submission. 

Selections and reviews can only be actioned in the relevant stage. Users (or staff impersonating them) can submit their exercise to the next stage, and Managers can transfer individual's or groups' exercises between stages. 

See the relevant page in the menu to the left for more information. 

Glossary of terms

Outputs are considered selected once they have been selected for review in Stage 1 of the exercise.

Once an output has been selected and reviewed, exercise Managers can accept it for potential inclusion in their UoA's REF2029 submission. Outputs can be un-accepted once they have been accepted. When an output has been accepted, the Manager can input an overall score and input further REF2 information to aid the submission. The overall score will then feed into the Elements REF dashboards. 

REF1 refers to individual academics that are eligible for inclusion in the REF submission. Currently, the REF1 section within the management area of the exercise should not be edited

REF2 refers to outputs. There is a REF2 section within the management area of the exercise where Managers can input further information about the output once it has been accepted for potential inclusion in the REF2029 submission, such as the overall score, double weighting information etc. Within the exercise, outputs are considered REF2s once they have been accepted for potential submission. 

Supporting fields
Supporting fields are objects not sourced from Elements, but created within the assessment, for example, a double-weighting statement.