Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is national assessment exercise managed by the Australian Research Council (ARC), which aims to identify and promote excellence across the full spectrum of research activity occurring within Australia's higher education institutions. The objectives of the exercise are to:
The unit of assessment is broadly defined as the Field of Research (FoR) within an institution based on the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification (ANZSRC). The data covers all eligible researchers and their research outputs.
The assessment is undertaken using a combination of indicators and expert review by Research Evaluation Committees (REC) comprising experts from Australia and overseas. The ERA indicators include a range of metrics such as citation profiles which are common to disciplines in the natural sciences, and peer review of a sample of research outputs which is more broadly common in the humanities and social sciences. Evaluations by REC are informed by three broad categories of indicators:
ERA 2018 will be submitted in early 2018, however there is a significant amount of preparation required to develop this institutional submission. The submission uses retrospective data, which is accessed from CSU's various systems and repositories. Data collection has already commenced to ensure all those records are accurate and complete. The submission includes research information that describes activities by 'eligible researchers' across the following reference periods:
1 January 2011 – 31 December 2016
1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016
1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016
There are detailed criteria for which researchers are reported in the submission and which of their research indicators can be included. The submission can only include staff reported in our HR system at the census date. The census data for ERA 2018 is 31 March 2017. It is likely that 'eligible researchers' for ERA 2018 will be similar to that for ERA 2015. In this regard, for ERA 2015, academic staff with a teaching-research or research only work function and employed at 0.4 FTE or higher are automatically 'eligible' and must be included; staff with other work functions and/or lower FTE load become 'eligible researchers' by having eligible research outputs. Casuals and non-salaried staff such as adjuncts and visiting fellows may also be eligible for inclusion where they have demonstrated affiliation with CSU on their research outputs (such as through a by line). The full criteria will be on the ARC website when the final specifications are released.
The CSU submission for ERA 2018 will be prepared over many months with input from multiple sources. Information will be sourced from relevant institutional systems, with an initial preparation stage to ensure the completeness and accuracy of information. As part of this process, researchers may be contacted by the ERA 2018 team to ensure that data is included in its entirety.
The governance structure for ERA 2018 will be released in the near future.
The ERA process hinges on accurate Field of Research (FoR) data. In this regard, researchers should ensure that FoR codes and apportionments (%) are present and accurate in CSU Research Output (CRO) researcher profiles, and also in all publications in CRO during the ERA 2018 reference period (2011-2016 inclusive). Instructions for how to edit and update FoR codes in the CRO portal can be found at: https://www.csu.edu.au/research/performance/cro/submit
Representations of CSU's previous ERA submissions are available via the Office of Strategic Planning and Information website (internal only). This site includes excellent dashboard views and comparisons to the national data set. Please note that you will need to download the free Tableau reader to view.
The Australian Research Council (ARC) has also provided detailed reports on previous ERA assessments.