The panel rankings are highly correlated with citation counts.

The exercise is based on submitting many performance indicators, and there is long, time-consuming assessment.

But the rank order can already predicted (with a correlation of 0.9) by simply counting the total citations.

This is true even though citation counts are not submitted.

Yet they could have replaced the whole RAE exercise, and much less cost in time and effort for all.

This illustrates the importance of citation impact for research funding.