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Italian, UoA 53

UoA Descriptor 2.44.1 The UoA includes: Linguistics and history of the language; Language teaching and methodology; Renaissance literature; Medieval literature (including Dante); Cultural Studies and cultural history (including film); Modern and contemporary literature; Early modern literature; Modern social and political studies; History of ideas; History of Italy; Social History; and Italian Language. UoA Boundaries 2.44.2 The Panel believes that its boundaries are well-defined, in accordance with the title and description of the Unit of Assessment. 2.44.3 Panel members have a broad range of expertise and expect to be able to assess the great majority of submissions without reference beyond the Panel’s membership. However, where submissions require expertise beyond that of its members, the Panel will seek advice from members of other panels or other specialist advisers as appropriate. Sub-Panels 2.44.4 panels. The Panel does not envisage the need to establish sub-

Interdisciplinary Research 2.44.5 As a result of the largely interdisciplinary nature of Italian Studies in the UK, the expertise of the Panel members is wideranging. The Panel will give due credit to submissions of an interdisciplinary nature and does not anticipate that it will normally need to consult beyond its membership. However, where necessary, the Panel will seek advice from members of other panels or other specialist advisers. Joint Submissions 2.44.6 Should any joint submissions be received (ie. single submissions made jointly by two institutions), these will be considered on their merits in the same way as unitary submissions. Treatment of Evidence 2.44.7 In considering the various items of evidence submitted, the Panel will give weight to the cited research output. Other items of evidence, e.g. numbers of research students, research studentships, research income and research culture, will be given weight relative to the size and staff profile of the submitting unit or Department. Submissions which include fewer than four items of research output per research active staff member will be considered in the light of

additional evidence supplied in the textual commentary in forms RA5 and RA6. Research Output 2.44.8 The Panel expects cited research output to fall into the following principal categories: • Academic journal articles (Note: while attaching importance to the refereeing process, the Panel recognises that some types of research, e.g. particular specialisms and work which is highly innovative, may be published in less prominent journals, and will give these due credit.) • • Bibliographies (to the extent that they embody research) Books – including: Single-authored works Co-authored works Scholarly editions Edited special issues of journals, collections of essays, dictionaries, companions, or encyclopaedic works, etc., with substantial research input on the part of the editor (Note: where an individual has edited a book, a special issue of a journal or similar, and has also contributed one or more items in the same publication, these may be submitted separately or together. Dictionary entries or encyclopaedia articles may, likewise, be entered separately or as related groups.) • Chapters in books – including: Essays in collections Contributions to conference proceedings Contributions to Festschriften • • Creative writing (to the extent that it embodies research) Short works – including: Published lectures Pamphlets Dictionary entries Encyclopaedia articles Working papers

• Teaching materials (to the extent that they embody research) including: Textbooks Student guides Readers Source books • • • • • Language materials Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) material Translations (to the extent that they embody research) Web resources Non-printed materials.

2.44.9 The Panel has sought to provide a comprehensive list of possible research outputs but recognises that it is not exhaustive. The Panel makes no a priori assumption that any one category is worth more than any other and no ranking or weighting should be inferred from the order in which the categories are listed. Each item will be assessed on its individual merits. 2.44.10 Since the period of assessment for the RAE in 1996 and the RAE in 2001 overlap, submitting Departments and units may cite items of research output which have previously been submitted for the RAE in 1996. 2.44.11 The Panel as a whole will aim to examine in detail all research outputs submitted. 2.44.12 The Panel will assess the quality of each type of research output in accordance with the extent to which it is original, ie. it leads to an increase in knowledge and/or understanding in the discipline. Research Students and Research Studentships 2.44.13 The Panel will give weight to the data provided on research students and research studentships relative to the size and staff profile of the submitting Department or unit. 2.44.14 The Panel will give greater weight to supra-departmental research studentships, in accordance with information provided in the textual commentary in form RA5. External Research Income

2.44.15 The Panel will give weight to the data provided on external research income relative to the size and staff profile of the submitting Department or unit. 2.44.16 The Panel will consider external research income in the light of the nature of the competition for obtaining it, in accordance with the textual commentary in form RA5. Textual Commentary 2.44.17 In the textual commentary, the Panel invites submitting Departments and units to address the points listed below. However, the Panel recognises that a number of the points will not be relevant to some institutions and that additional information may sometimes need to be given. Submitting Departments and units should therefore respond as appropriate. RA5 Research Structure 2.44.18 a. b. c. Explain the mechanisms and practices for promoting research and sustaining and developing an active and vital research culture. Describe the nature and quality of the research infrastructure, including facilities for research students. Describe any arrangements which are in place for supporting interdisciplinary or collaborative research, e.g. research groupings within Departments or across Departmental boundaries. List other UoAs to which work has been submitted and detail any difficulties of fit between Departmental structure and the UoA framework. Provide information on relationships with industry and commerce or other research users and where appropriate on the account taken of Government policy initiatives and objectives.



Staffing Policy a. b. Describe the arrangements for the development and support of the research work of staff. Describe any arrangements which are in place for developing the research of younger and/or new researchers and for integrating them into a wider, supportive research culture. Where appropriate, explain the role and contribution of staff who have been recruited in the run-up to the census date.



Where appropriate, comment on how the departure of staff in categories A*, B and D has affected the strength, coherence and research culture of the Department at the census date.

Additional Information a. Describe the nature of research studentships and external research funding obtained by the Department or unit, in particular the sources and the nature of the competition for obtaining them. In what way does the funding support the Department’s or unit’s research? Describe any forms or research-linked activities in which members of the Department or unit are involved, e.g. editorial work, acting as a regular reviewer for a named journal, organisation of conferences and involvement in collaborative work that enhances national and international research.


Research Strategy a. Provide a statement about the main objectives and activities in research over the next five years. The Panel’s attention should be drawn to ongoing research work that is not producing immediate visible outcomes. Institutions should be aware that their research plans from the RAE in 1996 will be available to the Panel. Departments or units should evaluate the outcomes of the 1996 research plans, including reference to any divergence between these plans and actual achievements, as well as drawing the Panel’s attention to areas of particular strength and development.


Self-Assessment 2.44.19 Provide a self-assessment of performance in relation to the issues detailed in the paragraphs above in the textual commentary. The Panel would appreciate an honest, self-critical and constructive statement. RA6 Evidence of Esteem 2.44.20 List indicators of peer esteem which relate to the staff submitted. The Panel will give credit to the following indicators of peer esteem such as the following (it recognises that the list is not exhaustive): • • • Translation of individual’s work Regular reviewer for named journal(s) Invitations to conferences

• • • • •

Membership of editorial boards Invitations to review work for publishers Examiner for research degrees Officer or committee member of learned society or association Academic honours.

Individual Staff Circumstances 2.44.21 Indicate any individual staff circumstances which have significantly affected their contribution to the submission (e.g. periods of sick leave, career breaks, engagement on long-term projects, staff at an early stage in their career). Working Methods 2.44.22 evidence. The Panel will not use a quantitative approach to assessing

2.44.23 All Panel members will read each submission. The Panel will seek to ensure that all cited research output is assessed by at least one Panel member, according to the individual’s expertise. Where appropriate, individual items of cited research will be assessed by a second member of the Panel. 2.44.24 Individual Panel members will make their own preliminary assessment of all the submissions and give provisional ratings. Submissions will then be discussed by the Panel in order to arrive at provisional ratings and identify difficult or problematic cases. Further work will be undertaken on these latter cases and provisional ratings reviewed at a later meeting. The Panel will seek to achieve consensus on all final ratings. 2.44.25 The Panel interprets ‘international excellence’ to represent that work which is comparable with the best research which is being produced in the discipline anywhere in the world. 2.44.26 The Panel will use a corresponding group of up to five nominated non-UK experts to verify its judgements of international excellence (ie 5*). Samples of submissions to which the Panel has provisionally given a rating of 4 or 5 will also be supplied.

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