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The Merit Project

The Making Excellent Research Influential and Transferable (Merit) project ends

The Merit project will not be continuing. The Steering Group has accepted the recommendation of the Project Director that it was unlikely to be able to offer sufficient value to its funder, JISC, or to the research community, to justify the investment required.

Merit's main objective was to make available to everyone on open access the best UK research outputs. The service was initially going to include the four outputs per researcher submitted by universities for their RAE2008 return. The project team explored a number of routes by which this could be done effectively. However, after discussions with publishers and universities it became clear that more resources would be required to achieve this aim than would be justified by the benefits of the project. As a result, we made the decision to close the project. Nevertheless those discussions with publishers and universities have been extremely valuable in keeping JISC informed of the priorities and strategic directions of those stakeholders, and this will inform future JISC work.

A considerable amount of metadata about the RAE2008 submissions was collected (and improved) during the project, and this will not be thrown away. It will be made available to the community in two forms:

  • a web interface to the data that allows Higher Education institutions and others to search for and analyse data quickly and easily
  • a downloadable database that can be used to carry out more detailed ad-hoc analyses: this consists the whole dataset in a common format

The metadata covers all the articles included in the RAE2008.

While we regret that Merit could not be brought to fruition, sensible investment strategy suggests we should make a clear decision to end the project at a stage when only a small proportion of the available funding has been used. JISC is, though, developing a range of other initiatives in Knowledge Transfer and Business and Community Engagement that may fulfil some of the role envisaged for Merit.

The project team would like to thank all the members of the academic and library communities who contributed ideas and advice, and especially the project's Steering Group, chaired by Stephen Pinfield.

If you would like any further information about Merit, please contact Hugh Look, the Project Director:


Last updated: April 2016