ERA Research Outputs

The following information is based on the Australian Research Council, Excellence in Research for Australia, ERA 2015 Sumission Guidelines. The guidelines for ERA 2018 are due for release in 2017 - this page will be updated once they have been released.

Definition of Research

For the purposes of ERA, 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 is new and creative.

Research Output Criteria

For institutions to submit information on a research output, the research output must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Meet the definition of research;
  • Have been published or brought into the public domain within the research outputs reference period
  • Have one or more eligible researchers listed as an author of the research output; and
  • Be an eligible research output type

Non Traditional Research Outputs

For non-traditional research outputs which are selected for ERA peer review, a statement identifying the research component of the output must be availabe in ResearchOnline@JCU. Research statements should be around 250 words in total and should address the following categores:

  1. Research Background: Field, Context, Research Question
  2. Research Contribution: Innovation, New Knowledge
  3. Research Significance: Evidence of Excellence

Eligible Research Output Types

Books-Authored Research

Institutions are required to submit information on all eligible books for each year of the research outputs reference period.

Eligible books are those that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a major work of scholarship;
  • Be offered for sale in the form of:
    • hard copies, bound,
    • CD-ROMs, packaged, and/or
    • e-books, on subscription or fee basis;
  • Have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN);
  • Be entirely written by a single author, or by joint authors who share responsibility for the whole book; and
  • Have been published by a commercial publisher.

The following types of books are likely to meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘Book’ output type:

  • critical scholarly texts;
  • new interpretations of historical events; and
  • new ideas or perspectives based on established research findings.

Many of the books published by professional bodies do not report original research findings but report the results of evaluations, or repackage existing information for the benefit of professionals or practitioners. It is important that institutions assess these outputs very carefully against the definition of research and only count those books for this output type which report research activities.

The following types of books are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘Book’ output type:

  • textbooks;
  • anthologies;
  • edited books; and
  • revisions or new editions.

Chapters in Research Book

Institutions are required to submit information on all eligible book chapters for each year of the research outputs reference period.

Eligible book chapters are those that meet all of the following criteria:

  • be a contribution, consisting substantially of new material, to an edited compilation in which the material is subject to editorial scrutiny. A book chapter may be included if it has been published previously, provided it constitutes substantial new knowledge and constitutes original research;
  • be a chapter in a book that is offered for sale in the form of:
    • hard copies, bound,
    • CD-ROMs, packaged, and/or
    • e-books, on subscription or fee basis;
  • be a chapter in a book that has an International Standard Book Number (ISBN); and
  • be a chapter in a book that has been published by a commercial publisher.

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 following types of book chapters are likely to meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘Book Chapter’ output type:

  • 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;
  • critical scholarly text of chapter length; and
  • critical review of current research.

The following types of book chapters are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘Book Chapter’ output type:

  • chapters in textbooks;
  • entries in reference books;
  • anthologies;
  • revisions of chapters in edited books;
  • forewords;
  • brief introductions;
  • brief editorials; and
  • appendices.

Journal Articles-Refereed, Scholarly Journal

Institutions are required to submit information on all eligible journal articles published in so-called ranked journals for each year of the research outputs reference period.

Eligible journal articles are those that have been published in a scholarly peer reviewed journal listed in the ERA Submission Journal List.

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

The following types of journal article are likely to meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘Journal Article’ output type:

  • commentaries and communications of original research;
  • research notes;
  • letters to journals, provided that the letter satisfies the definition of research and the subsequent definitions for journal articles provided above;
  • critical scholarly texts which appear in article form;
  • articles reviewing multiple works or an entire field of research;
  • invited papers in journals;
  • articles in journals which are targeted to both scholars and professionals; and
  • articles in a stand alone series.

The following types of journal article are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria for the ‘Journal Article’ output type:

  • 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; and
  • brief commentaries and communications of original research.

Indexed and Non-indexed Journal Articles

There are two forms of the research output type ‘journal article’ – indexed and non-indexed.

An ‘indexed journal article’ will have a unique article identifier and will have been indexed by the citation data supplier Scopus. If the field of research will use citation analysis as an indicator, the number of apportioned indexed journal articles in an institution’s submission will determine whether the field of research will be assessed, either at the four-digit FoR level or (if relevant) the two-digit FoR level. This low volume threshold is set at 50 apportioned indexed journal articles.

For fields of research were citation analysis is not used, all journal articles are non-indexed for the purposes of ERA.

Conference Publications-Full Paper Refereed

Institutions are required to submit information on all eligible peer-reviewed conference publications for each year of the research outputs reference period.

Eligible conference publications are those that meet all of the following criteria:

  • be published in full. The publications may appear 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- or DVD-ROM or conference or organisational website;
  • be peer reviewed. For ERA purposes, an acceptable peer review process is one that involves an assessment or review, before publication, of the research output in its entirety by independent, qualified experts. Independent in this context means independent of the author. A statement from an author that a research output was peer reviewed is not sufficient evidence; and
  • be presented at conferences, workshops or seminars of national or international significance.

The types of conference publications that are unlikely to meet the criteria include

  • Keynote addresses
  • Plenary addresses
  • Participation in discussions as a panel member
  • Poster presentations
  • Facilitation of workshops at conferences
  • Abstracts of conference publications
  • Papers that appear only in a volume handed out to conference participants.

Original Creative Works (NTRO)

Research outputs are eligible as Original Creative Works only where the relevant eligible researcher is the creator of the creative work rather then, for example, the curator of an exibition of creative works produced by others. If selected for ERA peer review, a research statement must be provided.

The exhibition of an original creative work can be used to demonstrate that the work has been made publicly available, but each instance of such a research output can only be claimed once. Exhibited creative works can be submitted as either:

  • a single item exhibited as an individual creative work (equal to one research output); or
  • a portfolio of works exhibited as a cohesive/thematic collection of the work of a single creator (also equal to one research output).

Sub-categories of original creative works are provided in the following table:

Research OutputDescription
Visual art work A research output such as as a fine arts and crafts work, a painting, drawing, diagram, map, photographic image, sculpture, model or installation.
Design/Architectural work Realised, constructed, fabricated or unrealised building and design projects. ‘Unrealised’ projects must have an output that provides evidence of the research involved.
Textual work Written creative work that is not eligible to be submitted as a book or journal article such as a novel or art review. Exhibition catalogues and catalogue entries should be submitted in this sub-category.
Other Other original creative works that do not fit the other output types. For example, scholarly editions, scholarly transtations may be submitted under this sub-category, provided they meent the eligibility criteria.

Live Performance of Creative Works (NTRO)

For Live Performance of Creative Works, the actual public performance is what is claimed. If these research outputs are selected for ERA peer review, then some form of supporting documentation, in addition to the Research Statement for ERA Peer Review of Non-Traditional Research Outputs, should be made available via the institutionally supported repository to facilitate the ERA peer review process. Documentation may be in the form of a recording of the performance, reviews, performance programs or other material that the institution considers useful to the ERA peer review process.

Sub-categories of live performance of creative works are provided in the following table:

Research OutputDescription
Music New work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.
Play New work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.
Dance New work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.
Other Other new work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.

Recorded/Rendered Creative Works (NTRO)

For Recorded/Rendered Creative Works, the research component is contained within the recording/rendering. Simple documentations of live performances of creative works without a research component are not eligible to be submitted as this research output type, but may be submitted as supporting material under Live Performance of Creative Works.

Sub-categories of recorded/rendered creative works are provided in the following table:

Research OutputDescription
Audio/Visual Recording Research outputs presented in an audio-visual format, such as films, documentaries or audio-visual presentations.
Performance Performances created specifically for a recorded medium.
Inter-arts Recorded/rendered creative works, often experimental, produced in association with other researchers in other disciplinary fields.
Digital creative work Creative 3D models, including digital outputs of architectural and design projects, computer programs, games and visual artworks.
Website/Web exhibition These are eligible as recorded/rendered creative works if the eligible researcher is the creator of the creative works featured in the website. Curated web-based exhibitions of other people’s creative works must be submitted as Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events.
Other Other recorded/rendered creative works not listed above.

Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events (NTRO)

This research output type is specifically aimed at research outputs produced by curators rather than artists (although exhibition catalogues written by curators should be submitted as Original Creative Works, in the ‘Textual work’ sub-category—see above).

Where a curator is an eligible researcher, the curator may claim exhibitions, festivals and other events as research outputs. Artists may claim exhibitions of their original creative works under the Original Creative Works research output type, where the exhibition of the creative works is used as evidence that those works have been made publicly available.

Multiple exhibitions/events cannot be counted as multiple research outputs where the repeated exhibitions/events do not introduce a new research component to the work. For example, a touring exhibition can only be counted once. Multiple exhibitions/events may each be counted where each subsequent exhibition/event introduces a new research component to the work that builds upon the initial research component of the original exhibition/event.

Recurring exhibitions and events may be submitted. For example, the Biennale of Sydney is a recurring event with each occurrence being unique rather than a repeat of the previous occurrence.

Sub-categories of Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events are as follows:

Research OutputDescription
Web-based exhibition The curation and/or production of an internet website presenting a collection of creative works where the internet is the medium of the exhibited works.
Exhibition The curation and/or production of a collection of creative works exhibited together for the first time in a recognised gallery, museum or event. This should be accompanied by a well researched publication that includes the time and location of the exhibition.
Festival The curation of a festival bringing together innovative work or existing works in an innovative format or through a theme that provides new perspectives and/or experiences.
Other Curated or substantial public exhibitions and events that do not fit into the above sub-types.

Research Reports for an External Body (NTRO)

A Research Report for an External Body is a written research output commissioned or solicited by an external body such as a goverment department or private company.

Sub-categories of Research Report for an External Body are as follows:

Research OutputDescription
Public SectorA research report that has been undertaken for an Australian, state, territory, local, foreign or international goverment body or organisation.
IndustryA research report that has been undertaken for a company, industry organisation, industry peak body, or an employer/employee association.
Not-For-ProfitA research report that has been undertaken for a body or organisation operating in the not-for-profit sector.
OtherA research report undertaken for an organisation not covered by the above sub-categories.

The following examples are likely to be ineligible for submission under this subcategory:

  • submissions to public inquires and consultations, including goverment or parliamentary inquiries;
  • policy blogs or online commentaries/articles; and
  • briefing notes.

In some cases, the above items may be eligible as part of a portfolio.