Research talk: Research assessment, the Hidden REF, and Octopus

Emily Wild hosts a discussion on research culture and assessment with Alex Freeman, creator of Octopus, and Simon Hettrick, chair of the Hidden REF.


In this episode, our guests discuss the need for change in research assessment and how this can be achieved. Delving into the limitations of traditional methods, the conversation introduces the innovative Hidden REF initiative, championing a shift towards broader recognition of diverse contributions to research beyond the confines of conventional academic outputs. Join the guests as they navigate the complexities of the current research assessment landscape and offer a glimpse into the promising future envisioned by the Hidden REF campaign.

Alex explores the Octopus platform and its role in reshaping research sharing and assessment. The conversation delves into the difficulties of assessing nontraditional outputs and the concerns raised by researchers about the peer review process for such outputs. The hosts reflect on the potential for iterative changes leading to a better research assessment landscape, with a focus on the REF 2029 submission cycle.

Show notes

Episode guests

Alex Freeman headshot
Dr Alex Freeman
Inventor of Octopus and executive director of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge
Simon Hettrick headshot
Simon Hettrick
Chair of the Hidden REF

Episode host

Emily Wild headshot
Emily Wild
Engagement and communities specialist

Additional links