For more information on both HERDC and ERA, see the University of Sydney's Research Support website to see how performance is measured.


The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) is an annual collection of Publications and research income data, which is used by the government to determine funding for each tertiary education institution.

The Research Office collects research publication information from university staff, students and affiliates from all faculties across the university. It is important that each faculty and department within the University of Sydney, accurately reports their research publications data each year, in order to get vital financial funding.

Research Publication data

The HERDC publication data collection is coordinated centrally in the Research Office with the assistance of Faculty, School and Department administrators. The electronic system used for collating this information at the university is called the Integrated Research Management Application (IRMA). You can read more about IRMA at http://sydney.edu.au/research_support/performance/herdc/irma.shtml.

There are four publication types which are eligible for the HERDC collection:

  • Book – Authored Research (A1)
  • Book Chapter – Commercial Publisher (B1)
  • Journal Article – Refereed, Scholarly Journal (C1)
  • Conference Publication – Full Paper Refereed (E1)


Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is a new system, introduced by the Australian government, of assessing research activity.

The main differences with ERA:

  • Current affiliation - affiliation with the university is based on where the academic/affiliate is now rather than where they did the work.
  • Longer Time frames - publication information will be collected for a 6 year period of time and grant and applied research measures for a 3 year period of of time instead of the one year time span of the HERDC collection.
  • Additional Information collected - in addition to research publication and income, ERA is also collecting information for creative works, applied research measures, esteem measures and commercialisation income.

ERA-related online information: