researchfish® (formerly MRC e-Val) is the system used to collect information on the outputs, outcomes and impacts that have arisen from MRC-funded research.
MRC e-Val was first launched in November 2009 and three successful data-gathering periods took place annually with the response rate increasing to 98 per cent in 2011.
Following the success of MRC e-Val, other organisations that fund medical research expressed an interest in using the system. In 2011/12, we worked with a group of 10 or so other funders on a 'federated' version of e-Val ie one that works across funders so that researchers can enter an output just once and then associate it with the relevant funder or funders.
This federated version of e-Val – researchfish® – was launched in 2012. This system not only works across funders, but has added functionality to further streamline how information is entered, making it easier for researchers to provide feedback on their outputs and outcomes. As at October 2015, there are more than 100 research organisations and funders using researchfish®, including more than 50 medical research charities and almost 40 universities.
The eighth data-gathering period took place in 2016 and the data are currently being analysed.
The next data-submission period opens on Monday 5 February 2018 and the deadline is 4pm on Thursday 15 March 2018.
Researchers may enter their data at any time, however, can only submit their reports during the submission period.
We will continue to coordinate use of researchfish® closely with university support offices and/or research unit administrators to ensure that everyone is advised of changes in a timely manner.
On behalf of the MRC, the evaluation team would like to thank all MRC-funded scientists who have supported MRC e-Val and now researchfish®. This support has given the MRC a better understanding of the progress, productivity and impact of MRC research, and the results have been presented to a wide audience. We would also like to thank all those administrators and support staff who helped with the data collection. We acknowledge the significant support the evaluation team continue to receive from university research support offices and MRC administrators across the UK, which make it possible to run the exercise and deal with communications effectively.
The evaluation team uses these data in a variety of ways, from returning it to universities so that they can be used for their REF submissions, to using data to inform our strategic plan and as evidence for the Government’s Spending Reviews.