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2009 HCA Trial Outcomes

Please note that material on this page is strictly related to the ERA 2009 Trial and may not be relevant for the current ERA process.

In preparation for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation in 2010, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research asked the Australian Research Council (ARC) to undertake a trial during 2009. This trial involved the evaluation of two ERA clusters: Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences (PCE) and Humanities and Creative Arts (HCA).

The evaluations of the submitted ERA data remained consistent with the mission and methodology which was developed for the trial. ERA aims at assessing research quality within Australia's higher education institutions, by using a combination of discipline-specific indicators alongside expert review by Research Evaluation Committees (RECs) comprised of experienced, internationally recognised experts.

Both trials have now concluded. The national outcomes for the PCE trial were released on 30 November. The national outcomes of the HCA trial have been finalised and are outlined below.

HCA Trial Evaluation

All 41 institutions participated in the HCA trial. Evaluations were conducted at the two- and four-digit Field of Research (FoR) levels, as defined by ANZSRC. Quantitative data were submitted by each institution for each Unit of Evaluation, and peer-review items were provided to experts and REC members for qualitative assessment.

The HCA Trial involved three stages of evaluation by the REC. These stages of evaluation took place from 3 August to 13 November 2009. They were:

Stage 1 = Preliminary evaluation of four-digit Units of Evaluation by REC members independently, and peer reviewers.

Stage 2 = Review and revision of evaluation of four-digit Units of Evaluation by REC members, taking account of other four-digit evaluations by REC co-members and peer reviewers assigned to the same Units of Evaluation. Preliminary evaluation of two-digit Units of Evaluation by REC Members independently.

Stage 3 = Final meeting by HCA REC to provide final ratings and comments for all assessable Units of Evaluation at the two- and four-digit level.

Please note: More information about the evaluation processes can be found in the ERA 2009 Evaluation Guidelines.

REC members were required to provide an ERA Rating for each assessable Unit of Evaluation, taking into account the peer-review outputs provided, across the 41 institutions.

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HCA Trial Outcome Reporting

The final outcomes for the HCA trial are presented in individual reports prepared for each of the participating institutions. These reports detail the final ERA rating and REC comments provided for each assessable Unit of Evaluation at both the two- and four-digit FoR level at a given institution.

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Australian National Report for HCA

The charts below indicate the average rating and the maximum rating achieved in each of the two- and four-digit FoRs evaluated for the ERA 2009 HCA Trial. These ratings are benchmarked against the HCA REC interpretation of world average performance.

Please note: The low-volume threshold for the HCA trial was 20 outputs. Units of Evaluation below the threshold were not assessed due to low volume, and therefore appear vacant in the charts below.

2009 ERA Trial - Australian national report for HCA Cluster FoR 12 - Built Environment and Design

12 Built Environment and Design 1205 Urban and Regional Planning
1201 Architecture 1299 Other Built Environment
1203 Design Practice and Management    

2009 ERA Trial - Australian national report for HCA Cluster FoR 18 - Law and Legal Studies

18 Law and Legal Studies 1802 Maori Law*
1801 Law 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies

2009 ERA Trial - Australian national report for HCA Cluster FoR 19 - Studies in Creative Arts and Writing

19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing
1901 Art Theory and Criticism 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts
1902 Film, Television, and Digital Media 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
1903 Journalism and Professional Writing    

2009 ERA Trial - Australian national report for HCA Cluster FoR 20 - Language, Communication and Culture

20 Language, Communication and Culture 2004 Linguistics
2001 Communication and Media Studies 2005 Literary Studies
2002 Cultural Studies 2099 Other Language, Communication and Culture
2003 Language Studies    

2009 ERA Trial - Australian national report for HCA Cluster FoR 21 - History and Archaeology

21 History and Archaeology 2103 Historical Studies
2101 Archaeology 2199 Other History and Archaeology
2102 Curatorial and Related Studies    

2009 ERA Trial - Australian national report for HCA Cluster FoR 22 - Philosophy and Religious Studies

22 Philosophy and Religious Studies 2203 Philosophy
2201 Applied Ethics 2204 Religion and Religious Studies
2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies*

*No institutions provided sufficient outputs to make it above the low-volume threshold in these FoRs.
#Benchmarked against the HCA REC interpretation of world average performance.

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ERA Rating Scale as used by the HCA REC

Rating
Descriptor
5 The Unit of Evaluation profile is characterised by evidence of outstanding performance presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation.  The research outputs demonstrate the highest standards of quality and scholarly impact.
4 The Unit of Evaluation profile is characterised by evidence of excellent performance presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation.
3 The Unit of Evaluation profile is characterised by evidence of above average performance presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation.
2 The Unit of Evaluation profile is characterised by evidence of average performance presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation.
1 The Unit of Evaluation profile is characterised by evidence of below average performance presented by the suite of indicators used for evaluation.

In order to achieve a rating at a particular point on the scale, the majority of the output from the Unit of Evaluation would normally be expected to meet the performance for that rating point.

Content Last Modified:

23/06/2011


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