There are numerous metrics applied that indicate research performance. When considering performance, we are always interested to consider what impact our activities may have had, how policy and practice may have been influenced as a result of our research. Impact can be challenging to measure and meaningful indicators of impact generally can only be measured some time after the research has occurred.
More immediate indicators of performance are found through looking at measures of inputs and outputs, more specifically, the sector annually monitors research income, research publications and creative works, student load and completions statistics. This information is reported annually to the government in the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC).
Charles Sturt University has concentrations of research activity across a diverse range of fields and disciplines as well as inter- and cross-disciplinary research. These assessment of quality and impact will always be challenging, especially across diverse fields and over various timeframes. CSU participates in the national Excellence in Research for Australia initiative, which seeks to provide greater insight into the quality of research conducted at Australian Universities.
We will progressively be adding additional information to this site in relation to CSU Research targets and progress towards them, as well as the types of indicators of performance that are monitored both internally and externally.
Definition of Research
For the purposes of internal and external reporting, CSU applies the definition of research that is provided by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research (DIISR). The definition is copied below from the 2011 Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) Specifications.
Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.
This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) as comprising of creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications*.
This definition of research encompasses pure and strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. Applied research is original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge but directed towards a specific, practical aim or objective (including a client-driven purpose).
Activities that support the conduct of research and therefore meet the definition of research include:
- professional, technical, administrative or clerical support staff directly engaged in activities essential to the conduct of research
- management of staff who are either directly engaged in the conduct of research or are providing professional, technical, administrative or clerical support or assistance to those staff
- the activities and training of HDR students enrolled at the HEP
- the development of HDR training and courses
- the supervision of students enrolled at the HEP and undertaking HDR training and courses
- research and experimental development into applications software, new programming languages and new operating systems (such R&D would normally meet the definition of research)
Activities that do not support the conduct of research must be excluded, such as:
- scientific and technical information services
- general purpose or routine data collection
- standardisation and routine testing
- feasibility studies (except into research and experimental development projects)
- specialised routine medical care
- commercial, legal and administrative aspects of patenting, copyright or licensing activities
- routine computer programming, systems work or software maintenance.
*OECD (2002), Frascati Manual: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, OECD: Paris.
What is CRO?
CRO (CSU Research Output) is the CSU Institutional Repository and contains research articles (predominantly journal articles, conference papers, books and book chapters) as well as creative works produced by CSU staff . The Repository is the source of submissions for the annual HERDC collection, the CSU Creative Works register, and ERA.
- For general background about CRO and information on institutional repositories, see: FAQs: General Information.
- To deposit to CRO, go to: CRO CSU Research Output
What is the HERDC?
What is ERA?
ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) is a research assessment initiative being conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC). At CSU, CRO is the authoritative source of information on research outputs, including journal articles, books, conference papers, chapters, and creative works. All research outputs by eligible CSU researchers must be in CRO when the next ERA assessment occurs.