Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 November 2007
The Research Assessment Exercise (henceforth abbreviated to RAE) was introduced in 1986 by Thatcher, and was continued by Blair. So it has now been running for 21 years. During this time, the rules governing the RAE have changed considerably, and the interval between successive RAEs has also varied. These changes are not of great importance as far as the argument of this paper is concerned. We will concentrate on the main features of the RAE which can be summarised as follows.