School of Business and Economics


4 Dec 2020

Dr Crispin Coombs appointed to REF 2021 Business and Management Studies panel

Image of Crispin Coombs

Crispin Coombs, Reader in Information Systems in the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, has been appointed to serve on Sub-panel 17: Business and Management Studies in the assessment phase of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The REF is the UK's system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It first took place in 2014. The next exercise will be conducted in 2021, the results of which will not only signify the quality of research at each university but will have a significant impact on subsequent annual newspaper league table rankings.

How is REF conducted?

The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales(HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).

The REF is a process of expert review, carried out by expert panels for each of the 34 subject-based units of assessment (UOAs), under the guidance of four main panels. Expert panels are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users

For each submission, three distinct elements are assessed: the quality of outputs (e.g., publications, performances, and exhibitions), their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research. Panel members are appointed for their experience, expertise, abilities and knowledge in connection with leading, practising, commissioning or using research.

About Dr Crispin Coombs

Crispin Coombs' research expertise is located in the Information Systems domain and concerns the effective management of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics to deliver business benefits.

His research is based on three complementary strands: the success and failure of information systems in organisations; IT-enabled benefits realisation management and empowerment and control through technology. Recent, research RCUK funded projects, include:

Dr Coombs holds Senior Editor positions at the European Journal of Information Systems and Information Technology and People and is the former Vice-President of the UK Academy for Information Systems.