Excellence in Research for Australia - ERA 2015

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Excellence in Research for Australia - ERA 2015

Postby mgcrisp » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:12 pm

The Australian Research Council (ARC) this week released the submission documents for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015. The 2015 guidelines are very similar to the 2012 guidelines with only a few significant changes.

The first change is that there is now a requirement to submit more data not directly related to the evaluation. For example institutions are now required to submit data on staff gender; which publications are available in open access; and, information on the time and cost associated with submitting the ERA data for the institution. The problem with requesting these sorts of data is that each new requirement costs an institution time and money to collect and report. This means an increased cost to the whole sector for information that is not actually going to be used for the evaluation process - it is just for information.

A second change is that institutions are now able to write to the ARC regarding staff on less than 0.4 FTE contracts and argue a case for their inclusion (and the inclusion of their publications). This is a good move as it reduces the negative impact on fractional staff - a cohort that includes more female academics than male - thus shifting towards a more equitable process (although still not ideal). I wrote about why I thought there was a gender equity issue here:
http://michaelcrisp.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/does-era-2015-present-gender-equity.html


Institutions will be required to submit their ERA 2015 data in early 2015.

http://arc.gov.au/era/era_2015/era_2015.htm
Michael G. Crisp

http://michaelcrisp.blogspot.com.au

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Re: Excellence in Research for Australia - ERA 2015

Postby DaFinchi » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:12 pm

There's some interesting research emerging that the most recent couple of years covered in the RCI metric can be misleading. Citations in the year, in some fields two years, after publication correlate poorly with citations later, suggesting what's really being measured is how "hot" a topic is, rather than the academic impact of the research - i.e. speed not strength.

ERA, whose folks have I think been aware of this effect for a while, largely dodges this effect by making its reference period end over a year before they harvest their citation data.
Adam Finch

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Disclosure: I work as an analyst in Science Excellence for CSIRO. Any opinions are expressed as a private individual and may not reflect the official perspective of CSIRO.
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Re: Excellence in Research for Australia - ERA 2015

Postby mgcrisp » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:51 am

That is very interesting. I wonder also whether removing self citations would show a different picture of the most recent two years. I like the idea of "hot topic" metric! Of course it would have to be ''hot'' based on other people citing it and not the self cites. I imagine that the rate of citation for new articles will change also now with the rise in open access publication aiming t get publications out to the readers faster and more often.
Michael G. Crisp

http://michaelcrisp.blogspot.com.au

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.
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Re: Excellence in Research for Australia - ERA 2015

Postby DaFinchi » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:15 am

I'll have to dig out the article - it was linked on SIGMETRICS - but I seem to recall that self-citation is a fairly steady proportion (around 8%?) of citations each year.
Adam Finch

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