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Elements Assessment Module Guide

The first stage of the assessment exericise is to select outputs for review and add any required supporting information. While we await full REF2029 guidance, the exercise imposes no minimum or maximum number of outputs that can/should be selected for each User. 

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 each researcher has an individual assessment module exercise within which outputs are selected for review. In future, the assessment module will likely become more output-centric if/when REF's proposed decoupling of outputs and researchers is implemented. 

Output selections can be completed by Users (researchers), or by a member of staff impersonating them. UoAs can decide how they would like to manage their exercise in this respect. 

See the information and videos below on how to select outputs for review and add supporting information. 

Selecting outputs & adding supporting information

Selections can be completed by a User or another member of staff impersonating them in Elements. Your UoA can decide whether you want individual academics to engage with the assessment exercise process, or if administrative/management staff will complete this section (and the Self-Review section) on their behalf. 

To begin the selection stage, click Menu > Assessment > My Submissions > Assessments > Start. You should then see an introduction to your/the User's exercise. 

Next, click Contributions to knowledge and understanding, and the blue + icon to begin selecting outputs. You will only be able to select outputs that fall within the REF2029 eligible timeframe (01 Jan 2021 onwards). 

Scroll down the list of outputs and click ADD to select outputs. Once you have made your selections, click BACK TO LIST in the top left. 

Next, you should input any required supporting information. To do this, click VIEW ITEM DETAILS next to the relevant output. Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click the blue + icon in the Supporting Information section. 

Supporting Information 

All UoAs will see all available supporting information fields in this section, so some will not be relevant to your UoA. The list of fields can be viewed in the Supporting Information fields tab above. Each field is accompanied by guidance text, viewable if you click the question mark icon next to the field. Only complete the fields which are relevant to your UoA. 

Each of the text fields have a word limit that cannot be exceeded, which is based on the REF2021 submission guidance. 

Once you have made the necesary selections and input supporting information, submit the exercise to the next stage by clicking SUBMIT in the top right of the Contributions to knowledge and understanding page. To access the same User's Self-Review stage, you should click Menu > Assessment > My Reviews > Assessment Reviews > Start review next to the relevant User. 

The next tab shows a short video which provides an overview of this section.