Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

ROC criteria and verification requirements

The following information is derived from the 2015 HERDC specifications (collection of 2014 publications data) and guides the verification of publications for the internal Research Outputs Collection (ROC)

Generic criteria
Category specific criteria

Generic criteria

a) Definition of research

All submissions must meet the definition of research, as outlined in the HERDC specifications (1.3.10):

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 develop 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).

Key characteristics are:

  • Substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes
  • Originality (ie., not a compilation of existing works)
  • Veracity/validity through a peer review process or the quality control processes of a commercial publisher
  • Increasing the stock of knowledge; and
  • Being in a form that enables the dissemination of knowledge

In general, the above means that it must be a traditional scholarly publication, and would normally include a reference list, footnotes or in-text references. It should be original and innovative (not a summary of other works) and engage with the topic in some depth (not a simple overview). It should have investigation as a chief characteristic.

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b) Count each publication once only

Often research publications are published in more than one format - for example, a conference paper may subsequently be published in the following year as a journal article or book chapter. Please note that, for ROC purposes, the same publication may only be counted once, in one format. It is, however, legitimate to have alternative versions of a publication in Research Master and on CRO as ‘Also published as’ items.

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c) Author affiliation:

We can claim any author identified as affiliated with CSU on the publication itself, including academic staff, adjuncts, HDR candidates, general staff, and visiting scholars. Evidence for affiliation is normally an explicit acknowledgement of CSU (or its entities) on the byline, or in the contributor information page/s.

  • Missing bylines:

    Where a CSU author is not explicitly identified as being affiliated with CSU on the publication, we require a statement from the author indicating that the research leading to the publication was undertaken in his/her capacity as a staff member of CSU ('Author's declaration').

    Please note that a 'currently employed at' byline note (or similar) is insufficient proof that the research was actually undertaken while affiliated with CSU, and therefore cannot by itself be used as evidence of affiliation.
  • Multiple affiliations:

    If the author nominates multiple affiliation - CSU as well as another institution - we can still claim the full proportion of the relevant publication point/s for that author. For the example below, each of the institutions can legitimately claim the full point share for Mary Brown on the basis of the byline mention:

    Mary Brown (ANU, CSU, Flinders University)

    Please note that none of the three institutions are disadvantaged by the other claiming her affiliation.  Authors with multiple affiliations need not make a choice about where their ROC point share might go – if CSU is bylined, or if an author is prepared to sign an Author’s declaration form, then we can also claim the point share, and the publication should be entered into Research Master for ROC.

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d) Peer review

An acceptable peer review process is one that involves impartial and independent assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety before publication, conducted by independent, qualified experts. Independent in this context means independent of the author.

Peer review is required for:

  • Journal articles:

    This is often demonstrated by the appearance of the peer review icon against the journal on an Ulrichs search, by the listing of the journal on the ERA 2012 or 2010 journal list, or listing on Thomson Reuters Master Journal List. In the absence of these indicators, we can also accept a statement in the journal or from the journal editor which shows that contributions are peer reviewed, or a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the article itself. (Please note that a reviewer’s assessment needs to confirm that the article was subject to full assessment/review – ie, more than just proofing or editing)
  • Conference papers:

    The most common evidence is an explicit statement from the conference proceedings or in the preamble which shows that contributions are peer reviewed; however, we can also accept a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the conference paper itself ( - this needs to confirm that the article was subject to full assessment/review – ie, more than just proofing or editing), or an explicit peer review statement in the call for papers or conference website . Note that the statement needs to confirm the peer review process on the full paper – ie, not just on the abstract or poster presentation. 
  • Books and book chapters:

    Evidence of peer review is now required for any books or book chapters which are NOT published by a commercial publisher. Acceptable evidence includes: a statement in the book which shows that contributions are peer reviewed and, in the case of book chapters, indicating which chapters are peer reviewed (if this does not apply to the entire book); a statement or acknowledgement from the publisher or editor confirming peer review; a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the book or chapter. Please note that a reviewer’s assessment needs to confirm that the article was subject to full assessment/review – ie, more than just proofing or editing.

Note that a statement from an author that a publication was peer reviewed is not acceptable. The existence of a national or international advisory board is also not sufficient evidence that all relevant publications were assessed by members of it.

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e) Commercial publishers - books and chapters:

For books and book chapters, the concept of a commercial publisher is used as a surrogate test of quality in place of a peer review requirement. A commercial publisher is defined as an entity for which the core business is publishing books and distributing them for sale.

‘Publication’ is more than the production of a book. It needs to include quality control such as peer review or equivalent in-house quality control through processes such as expert assessment or review, as well as editing, copy-editing, design, and conversion of the work to an appropriate format.

If publishing is not the core business of an organisation, but there is a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication and its publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party, the publisher is acceptable as a commercial publisher. University presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its printing.

Note that in order to be considered a commercial publisher for these purposes, companies must generally demonstrate a degree of editorial responsibility and financial risk in choosing to publish, as well as be responsible for the entire publishing process (including printing and distribution). For this reason, 'vanity presses', as well as companies specialising primarily in the publication of theses (such as VDM Verlag, and Lambert Academic Publishing - LAP) are NOT considered to meet the 'commercial publisher' criteria.

Evidence of commercial publisher status is generally available on the web pages of publishing companies.

See also section on 'Peer Review'.

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f) Year of publication:

All publications included for ROC must be claimed in the appropriate year.

The year of publication must be verifiable, and stated as the year of publication within or on the work being claimed. 'Published' in this context is the date the publication was released to its intended audience. Publications which are published as ‘advance’ or ‘in press online’ may be reported either in the year that they were published online or the year of final publication – but they can be claimed only once.

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

There are two exceptions:
  • For journal articles and/or conference publications that are produced on CD-ROM or are web-based, and do not contain a date published within or on the work being claimed, a letter from a journal editor or conference organiser verifying the published date may be accepted
  • The date a conference was held may be acceptable evidence of the year of publication.

The year of publication is normally the latest of the year indicated as published, printed, or the year of copyright.

If a publication contains the previous collection year date, but was not published or made available until after the submission date for that year's publication return, then a letter from the publisher confirming this is required. For example, if a publication has a 2009 date, but the publication was not in fact made available until after 30 June, 2010, then we can claim this as a 2010 publication, provided we have a publisher's letter confirming the delay.

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Category specific criteria:

g) Books:

The book must meet the definition of research.

In addition the book must:
  • have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • be a major work of scholarship
  • have been entirely written by a single or co-authors ( - ie, not an edited book. Chapters within edited books should be claimed as chapters.)
  • have at least one author affiliated with CSU (see 'Author affiliation') 
  • have been published by a commercial publisher (see 'Commercial publishers - books and chapters') OR, if not published by a commercial publisher, must have been peer reviewed (see 'Peer review')*
Verification materials:

Unless all of the above requirements can be established from the URLs/web pages supplied in the appropriate fields in the submission form, or via accompanying PDFs, we may require scans or hard copy of some/all of the following:

  • Title page
  • Contents
  • Preface and introduction
  • Contributor information page/s or other evidence of CSU affiliation
  • Pages showing all bibliographic information (ISBN, title, author(s), publisher, all dates referring to copyright, publication, printing, distribution)
  • Evidence supporting commercial publisher status
  • Evidence of independent, impartial peer review of the work in its entirety before publication (see ‘Peer review’)
The types of books that DO NOT meet the criteria include:
  • textbooks
  • anthologies
  • edited books
  • creative works (eg. novels)
  • translations (unless they have a major demonstrable research component)
  • revisions or new editions
  • manuals and handbooks
  • theses (PhD, Masters and Honours)

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h) Chapters

The chapter must meet the definition of research.

In addition the book itself must:
  • consist substantially of new material
  • be in an edited compilation in which the material is subject to editorial scrutiny
  • have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • have at least one author affiliated with CSU (see 'Author affiliation')
  • have been published by a commercial publisher (see 'Commercial publishers - books and chapters') OR if not published by a commercial publisher, must have been peer reviewed (see ‘Peer review’)
Verification materials:

Unless all of the above requirements can be established from the URLs/web pages supplied in the appropriate fields in the submission form, or via accompanying PDFs, we may require scans or hard copy of some/all of the following:

  • A copy of the published chapter
  • Title page
  • Contents
  • Preface and introduction
  • Contributor information page/s or other evidence of CSU affiliation
  • Pages showing all bibliographic information (ISBN, title, author(s), publisher, all dates referring to copyright, publication, printing, distribution)
  • Evidence supporting commercial publisher status
  • Evidence of independent, impartial peer review of the work in its entirety before publication (see ‘Peer review’)

Note: If it is a new chapter in revised edition, include also contents of previous edition if preface does not indicate that chapter is new.

A book chapter may be included if it has been published previously, as long as it constitutes substantial new knowledge and constitutes original research. The types of book chapters that may meet the criteria include:

  • A scholarly introduction of chapter length to an edited volume, where the content of the introduction reports research and makes a substantial contribution to a defined area of knowledge.
  • A critical scholarly text of chapter length
  • Critical reviews of current research
The types of book chapters unlikely to meet ROC criteria include:
  • chapters in textbooks
  • entries in reference books
  • anthologies
  • revisions of chapters in edited books
  • forewords
  • brief introductions
  • brief editorials
  • appendices
  • literary or creative pieces such as collections of short stories; and
  • translations (unless they have a major demonstrable original research component)

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i) Journal articles

The article must meet the definition of research.

In addition the article must:
  • be published in a scholarly journal
  • have been peer reviewed (see 'Peer review')
  • have an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). (Note: Some journals may be regularly published as separate volumes with an ISBN rather than an ISSN. Provided that the publication is clearly identified as an edition of a journal, and not a book, articles in such publications may be eligible if they meet all other criteria)
  • If an ISSN does not appear in the journal, then there should be either a) external evidence (such as an ISSN being cited in an extract from an authoritative journal listing, such as Thomson-Reuters or Scopus), or b) evidence that the journal is classified as 'refereed' in the Ulrich's Knowledgebase
  • have at least one author affiliated with CSU (see 'Author affiliation')
Verification materials:

Unless all of the above requirements can be established from the URLs/web pages supplied in the appropriate fields in the submission form, or via accompanying PDFs, we may require scans or hard copy of some/all of the following:

  • a copy of the published article
  • Pages showing all bibliographic information (journal title, dates where not provided in the article or offprint)
  • Proof of peer review (see 'Peer review')
  • Evidence of CSU affiliation (see 'Author affiliation')
The types of journal articles that DO NOT meet ROC criteria include:
  • letters to the editor
  • case studies
  • articles designed to inform practitioners on existing knowledge in a professional field
  • articles in newspapers and popular magazines
  • editorials
  • book reviews
  • brief commentaries and communications of original research
  • reviews of art exhibitions, concerts, theatre productions

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j) Conference papers:

The paper must meet the definition of research.

In addition the paper must:

  • be published in full. Publication of the abstract only is not sufficient. 'Publication' may be in a number of different formats, e.g. a volume of proceedings, a special edition of a journal, a normal issue of a journal, a book or a monograph, CD-ROM or conference or organisational web site
  • be peer reviewed in full (see 'Peer review')
  • be presented at a conference, workshop or seminar of national or international significance
  • have at least one author affiliated with CSU (see 'Author affiliation')
Verification materials:

Unless all of the above requirements can be established from the URLs/web pages supplied in the appropriate fields in the submission form, or via accompanying PDFs, we may require scans or hard copy of some/all of the following:

  • From published proceedings: full published paper; Title page, Contents, bibliographic page/s showing ISBN, title, editor, authors, publisher, dates
  • Conference program indicating time and date of presentation
  • Proof of national or international significance
  • Proof of peer review  
  • Evidence of CSU affiliation

The types of conference papers that DO NOT meet ROC criteria include:

  • papers that appear only in a volume handed out to conference participants.
  • Keynote addresses
  • Plenary addresses
  • Poster presentations (unless a fully refereed conference paper is also submitted and published for the conference)
  • Abstracts of conference publications

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