Outcomes from the REF consultation exercise have now been announced. Results show overwhelming support for expert review and the quality of research outputs to be the main element of the REF. There was support in principle for assessing the social and economic impact of research although reservations about how this could be done in practice. A pilot is currently looking at how to assess impact and will report in Autumn 2010.
A summary of the consultation responses and initial decisions can be found at http://www.hefce.ac.uk/ref