• Rosanne Cecil BA, MSc, DPhil,

  • Kate Thompson MSc,

  • Kader Parahoo BA, PhD, RMN, ADV DIP IN ED

We were interested to read the commentary on our paper The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in Nursing by Carney (2007), and pleased that she found it timely and helpful. While we did not actually suggest that the establishment of a research centre would contribute to success in the RAE, we acknowledge that some of the factors that we identified as contributing to a higher RAE rating would, perhaps, be more readily facilitated in a centre dedicated to research. Nevertheless, the purpose of our paper was to assist existing schools and departments of nursing, as well as individual researchers, to achieve a higher rating in the forthcoming RAE. We hope that our identification of factors that distinguish the higher-rated units from the lower-rated units can be used to develop strategies that will lead to a more rigorous research process in nursing and consequently to a more successful outcome for nursing in the 2008 RAE.