Year of Publication

The key elements to meeting the HERDC criteria for year of publication are:

  • The publication is claimed in the appropriate year
  • The year of publication must be verifiable
  • The publication is claimed once only

Claiming the appropriate year

The definition of published in this context is the date the publication was released to its intended audience.

  • The research must be published in the appropriate collection year and the appropriate year must be stated on or within the work being claimed.
  • Publications can often have several dates on them; we need to use the year of publication.
  • Copies of the pages showing the available publication details must be included in the verification documentation.

Note: HERDC Collections are named for the year they are being reported in, which is the year after that of the publication date, e.g. the 2012 HERDC collection refers to 2011 publications.

Verify the year

The date of publication must appear within or on the work being claimed.

Letters from authors, editors, creators etc stating that the research publication was published in a certain year, even though it is not stated on or within the publication, are not acceptable evidence of the year of publication.

The two exceptions to this are:

  • For journal articles and/or conference publications that are produced on CD-ROM or are web-based, and no date exists within or on the publication. In these instances a letter from the editor of the journal or the conference organiser may be accepted to indicate the year published.
  • The date a conference was held may be acceptable evidence of the year of publication.

A letter from an editor or conference organiser cannot override a date that is displayed within the work unless it can be shown that the publication was not published until after the submission date for that year’s publication return.

We must have correct and complete verification material to demonstrate that the publication, although containing the previous collection year’s date, was not published until after 30 June of the claiming collection year. A letter from the publisher will be considered sufficient verification material to support the claim.


If the publication has a 2010 date on but it was not made available to its intended audience until after 30 June 2011, we can claim it with the 2011 publications if we have a letter from the publisher stating that although it has a 2010 date, it was not published or made available to the intended audience until a specified date (this date would need to be after the 30 June 2011).

Claim once only

If a work has been claimed in a previous year, it cannot be claimed again.

For example, if a work was included one year as a conference proceeding paper, it cannot be included the following year as a journal article or a book chapter.

Journal articles are often published online first, and then subsequently published in print - only one of these can be claimed.