What is QAR?
Quality Assurance in Research (QAR) comprises all those techniques, systems and
resources that are deployed to give assurance about the care, prudence and
control with which the research has been conducted.
QAR typically concerns
itself with: Responsibilities of those involved; Transparent project planning;
Training and competence of research staff; Facilities and equipment;
Documentation of procedures and methods; Research records; Handling of samples
and materials. While adoption of sound QAR practices does not guarantee high
value research outputs, serious QAR deficiencies greatly increase the risk that
the research contract will not yield worthwhile, reliable, repeatable answers.
Crucially, the ‘Q’ does not refer to the intrinsic value of the research
outputs. This much more important, most would argue, facet of quality remains
exclusively the concern of the range of public, funder- and peer-review
processes that university researchers are familiar with.