There is something fundamentally absurd about the idea of ranking research. At the same time, no one can seriously argue that all research is equal in importance and quality. Either way, we are doubtlessly witnessing a dramatic change in the management and organisation of research. One aspect of this change is a move towards the ranking of research. In the United Kingdom, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) has been carried out on six occasions, with plans for another. Further, the Australian Government is in the process of introducing the so‐called Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). These are just some examples of a widespread trend affecting research around the world.