Field of Research (FoR) codes and clusters
For the purposes of ERA, research areas have been classified into 8 broad clusters, each comprised of a group of 2-digit Field of Research (FoR) groups.
- Cluster 1: Mathematical, information and computing sciences (MIC)
- Cluster 2: Physical, chemical and eath sciences (PCE)
- Cluster 3: Engineering and environmental sciences (EE)
- Cluster 4: Biological and biotechnological sciences (BB)
- Cluster 5: Medical and health sciences (MHS)
- Cluster 6: Humanities and creative arts (HCA)
- Cluster 7: Education and human society (EHS)
- Cluster 8: Economics and commerce (EC)
- Full list of codes
FoR codes are a subset of the ANZSRC codes, and are a means of classifying research.
There are three levels of codes, each more specific than the previous. The broadest level is the 2-digit level FoR code, of which there are 22. Each 2-digit FoR code is divided into a number of more specific 4-digit FoR codes.
Use of FoR codes in ERA
Data for ERA is submitted at the four-digit FoR level. Indicators are calculated at the four-digit and two-digit FoR levels based on the data submitted for each institution, and this information is aggregated to create four-digit and two-digit Units of Evaluation.
FoR codes for journal articles
All eligible journals have been assigned FoR codes by the ARC, in consultation with discipline experts, and all journal articles are limited to the the FoR codes assigned to the journal the article is published in.
The following rules apply:
- An article in a journal with one 4-digit FoR code can only be assigned that one code.
- An article in a journal with multiple 4-digit FoR codes can be assigned any combination of those codes, and must be apportioned between them. This may be an even split between the available codes, or 100% one particular code. The minimum apportionment is 20%.
- An article in a journal with a 2-digit FoR code can be assigned up to three 4-digit FoR codes within that 2-digit code.
- An article in a journal considered 'multidisciplinary' (e.g. Nature) can be assigned up to three 4-digit FoR codes, which may be any 4-digit FoR codes.
- An article with at least 80% mathematical content in a journal without a code within the 01 FoR code, can be assigned one 4-digit FoR code within the 01 set of FoR codes. This code must be apportioned at least 80%.
For conferences on the ranked conference list, similar rules of apportionment apply. However, FoR codes outside of the codes assigned to each conference proceeding may also be used.
What is the Exception Rule in assigning an FoR to a publication?
In the case of journal articles which have significant content (66% or more) that could best be described by a particular four-digit FoR code, institutions may assign that four-digit FoR code to the article, even if the ERA 2012 Journal List does not assign that four-digit FoR code to the journal in which the article was published (the reassignment exception).
For more information see, Chapter 188.8.131.52 of ERA Submission Guidelines (PDF).