Changes to ERA methodology

3 June 2011

The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, has announced several changes to the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) methodology for the 2012 round.

The most significant of these changes is the decision to abandon the journal ranking system used in ERA 2010.

The journal ranking system will be replaced by a 'journal quality profile', showing the most frequently published journals for each unit of evaluation.

Overall, there have been five areas of change:

  • The refinement of the journal quality indicator to remove the prescriptive A*, A, B and C ranks.
  • The introduction of a journal quality profile, showing the most frequently published journals for each unit of evaluation.
  • Increased capacity to accommodate multi-disciplinary research to allow articles with significant content from a given discipline to be assigned to that discipline, regardless of where it is published (this method was successfully trialled in ERA 2010 within Mathematical Sciences).
  • Alignment across the board of the low volume threshold to 50 outputs (bringing peer-reviewed disciplines in line with citation disciplines, up from 30 outputs).
  • The relaxation of rules on the attribution of patents, plant breeders' rights and registered design, to allow those granted to eligible researchers to also be submitted.
  • The modification of fractional staff eligibility requirements to 0.4 FTE (up from 0.1 FTE), while maintaining the right to submit for staff below this threshold where affiliation is shown (through use of a by-line, for instance).

The Australian Research Council (ARC) is yet to release detailed information about how these changes will operate.

The Research Portfolio will provide further information and advice via this site and the University's Staff News when it becomes available from the ARC.