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ERA EI Review

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The Australian Research Council (ARC) completed a comprehensive review of Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and the Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI) in 2021.  

The review enabled the ARC to: 

  • simplify and streamline its programs 
  • take advantage of recent developments in technology and big data 
  • ensure the programs continue to reflect world’s best practice, and 
  • respond to the ongoing needs of the: 
    • university sector,  
    • government and,  
    • the public for a robust evaluation of Australian university research quality, impact, and engagement. 

Final Report and Action Plan 

The ERA EI Review Advisory Committee’s ERA EI Review Final Report sets out 22 recommendations to the ARC. The final report can be downloaded as ERA EI Review Final Report – PDF formatWord format

The ARC accepted all 22 of the Advisory Committee’s recommendations. The ARC ERA and EI Action Plan sets out the next steps the ARC will take to put in place these recommendations. It can be viewed in  flipbook format or downloaded as PDF.  

An evaluation of the impact component of the Australian Research Council’s 2018 Engagement and Impact Assessment 

As part of the ERA and EI review, the ARC commissioned a research team to conduct an external review of the impact component of the Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment. This review was undertaken in 2018. The research team’s final report can be viewed in flipbook format or downloaded as PDF.  

For more information, please contact the ARC via email: ERAEIReview@arc.gov.au or the ERA Helpdesk: 02 6287 6755. 

ERA EI Review Advisory Committee 

As part of the review of ERA and EI, the ARC appointed an external, expert Advisory Committee. This committee comprised experts from: 

  • government,  
  • universities, 
  • research end-users and  
  • experts in research evaluation.  

The role of the ERA and EI Advisory Committee (the Committee) was to provide guidance, advice, and recommendations on key issues for the future rounds of ERA and EI. 

The Committee chair was Emeritus Professor Michael Brooks, from the University of Adelaide. 

The members of the Committee were: 

Name 

Title  

Emeritus Professor Michael Brooks (Chair) 

The University of Adelaide  

Mark Bazzacco 

Director of Strategy and Chief of Staff, CSIRO 

Professor Joy Damousi 

Director, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University 

Dr Gemma Derrick 

Senior Lecturer (Higher Education), University of Lancaster 

Dominic English 

First Assistant Secretary, Higher Education Division, Department of Education, Skills and Employment 

Dr Alan Finkel 

Chief Scientist Australia (2017 – 2020) (until December 2020) 

Dr Cathy Foley AO 

Chief Scientist Australia (from January 2021) 

Catriona Jackson 

Chief Executive, Universities Australia 

Professor Anne Kelso AO 

Chief Executive Officer, National Health and Medical Research Council 

Su McCluskey 

Commissioner, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research 

Emeritus Professor Ian O’Connor AC 

Chair of the Higher Education Standards Panel (until March 2021) 

Emeritus Professor John O’Connor 

Conjoint Professor, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, The University of Newcastle 

Jane Urquhart 

Head of Division, Science and Commercialisation Policy, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (until October 2020) 

Janean Richards 

Head of Division, Science and Commercialisation Policy, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (from October 2020) 

Dr Mathew Trinca AM 

Director, National Museum of Australia 

Professor Maggie Walter 

Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Tasmania, Previous Pro Vice-Chancellor – Aboriginal Research and Leadership 

Innes Willox 

Chief Executive, Australian Industry (AI) Group 

Supporting Advice 

The ARC appointed three working groups to provide expert advice to the Committee on specific issues. These working groups included: 

  • ERA Assessment Methodology Working Group. This group was made up of eight ERA 2018 Research Evaluation Committee Chairs. They were selected for their recent experience and expertise with ERA assessment. 
  • Engagement Narrative Working Group. This group was made up of Chairs and research end-user members of the EI 2018 assessment panels. They were selected for their previous experience in EI assessments. 
  • Indigenous Working Group. This group was made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers. They were selected for their previous experience with ERA or EI. Consideration was also given to cultural appropriateness. 

Further details of these working groups and the membership lists can be found in the ERA EI Review Final Report linked above. 

Public Consultation Submissions 

The review also included a public consultation that took place from 18 August to 12 October. The consultation paper can be viewed in flipbook format or downloaded in PDF format and Word format.  

The ARC received 112 submissions from individuals and organisations from the public consultation. At the request of the authors, some submissions have not been published.  

  • Summary table of submissions [table below – also available as Word in the Zip folder] 
  • All submissions [Zip folder, 23MB]  

The submissions published on this page are owned by the relevant organisations and individuals. They are responsible for the factual accuracy of these documents at the time of publishing. The views contained in these submissions represent the views of the authors and are not those of the ARC or the Australian Government. For use of material in submissions please see the ARC’s Copyright Statement. 

If you require a different format or are having trouble accessing the information within these submissions, please send an email to communications@arc.gov.au

Note: the submission numbers in the below table are for indexing purposes only and include duplicate submissions. Confidential submissions are not included in this list. 

Reference Table for Survey Submissions 

No. 

Title 

Full Name of Organisation 

01 

AAH 

Australian Academy of the Humanities 

03 

ABDC 

Australian Business Deans Council 

04 

ACHRC 

Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres 

05 

ACOLA 

Australian Council of Learned Academies 

06 

ACU 

Australian Catholic University 

07 

ADE 

The University of Adelaide 

08 

ADE2 

The University of Adelaide version 2 

09 

AHA 

Australian Historical Association 

10 

ANCPAS 

Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science 

11 

ANU 

Australian National University 

12 

AOASG 

Australasian Open Access Strategy Group 

13 

ARDC 

Australian Research Data Commons 

14 

ASSA 

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia 

15 

ATSE 

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering 

18 

BrymerEric 

Eric Brymer 

19 

BurnhamAntony 

Antony Burnham 

20 

CALD 

Council of Australian Law Deans 

21 

CAN 

University of Canberra 

22 

CDU 

Charles Darwin University 

23 

ChouMark 

Mark Chou 

24 

CQU 

Central Queensland University 

25 

CRC Association 

Cooperative Research Centres Association 

27 

CUT 

Curtin University 

28 

CUT OKI 

Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative 

29 

DASSH 

The Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities 

31 

DDCA 

The Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts (DDCA) and the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) 

32 

Digital Science 

Digital Science 

33 

DIV 

The University of Divinity 

34 

DKN 

Deakin University 

35 

DKN CRADLE 

Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), Deakin University 

36 

DKN HASS 

Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University 

37 

ESA 

Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) 

38 

ESA Letter 

Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) Letter 

39 

ECU 

Edith Cowan University 

40 

Elsevier 

Elsevier 

41 

EMCRforum 

The Australian Academy of Science Early and Mid-Career Researcher Forum (EMCR Forum) 

42 

FLN 

Flinders University 

44 

Go8 

Group of Eight (Go8)  

45 

GRF 

Griffith University 

49 

HartGeoffrey 

Geoffrey Hart 

54 

IAE 

The International Association of Egyptologists 

55 

IlingworthSam 

Sam Illingworth 

56 

InASA 

International Australian Studies Association (InASA) 

57 

IRU 

Innovative Research Universities 

58 

JCU 

James Cook University  

59 

KingsleyDanny 

Danny Kingsley 

60 

LarkinsFrank 

Frank Larkins 

61 

LewisJim 

Jim Lewis 

66 

MastNatalie 

N Mast Consulting 

67 

MastNatalie2 

N Mast Consulting 

68 

MEL HASS 

MEL HASS Response 

69 

MEL 

The University of Melbourne 

70 

MEL SocialPoliticalSciences 

The University of Melbourne, School of Social and Political Sciences 

74 

MQU 

Macquarie University 

78 

QUT 

Queensland University of Technology 

79 

RUN 

Regional Universities Network (RUN) 

80 

RMIT 

RMIT University 

81 

RolfHarry 

Harry Rolf 

82 

RACI 

Royal Australian Chemical Institute 

83 

MEL SCC 

The University of Melbourne, School of Culture and Communication 

84 

STA 

Science and Technology Australia 

85 

SCU 

Southern Cross University 

86 

SSA_AMSI_AMS 

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS) and the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) 

87 

SternDavid 

David Stern 

88 

SWIN 

Swinburne University 

90 

ThomasAnthony 

Anthony Thomas 

93 
  

NSW 
  

University of New South Wales  
  

95 

NSW Science 

Faculty of Science, University of New South Wales 

96 

QLD 

The University of Queensland  

100 

UTS 

University of Technology Sydney 

101 

UWA 

The University of Western Australia 

103 

SCU 

Southern Cross University 

104 

VIC 

Victoria University 

106 

WalkerJames 

James Walker 

107 

WOL 

University of Wollongong 

108 

HagenbuchnerMarkus 

Markus Hagenbuchner 

109 

WSU 

Western Sydney University 


ERA 2023 Benchmarking and Rating Scale Consultation 

The Australian Research Council held a public consultation from 11 March to 22 April 2022, on improvements to the ERA methodology to be adopted for ERA 2023. To inform this consultation, the ARC published the ERA 2023 Benchmarking and Rating Scale Consultation Paper  – PDF Format (1.01 MB)

The consultation paper was informed by advice provided by the Benchmarking and Rating Scale Working Group.

The proposed improvements included: 

  • two options for a new ERA rating scale and supporting benchmarks with increased granularity at the top end of the scale 
  • new citation indicators including a high-performance indicator and dynamic citation classes to improve recognition of world-leading research 
  • new peer review guidance to allow for identification of world-leading research and improve confidence in evaluation outcomes 
  • new guidance for assessment of field of research (FoR) 45 Indigenous studies and underlying 4-digit fields. 

The ARC is in the process of preparing submissions for publication on the ARC website.

ERA Benchmarking and Rating Scale Working Group 

After the review of ERA and EI, the ARC appointed an external, expert working group to review and provide advice on revising: 

  • the ERA rating scale, 
  • the benchmarks for citation analysis and peer review assessment and, 
  • the definition, appropriateness, and application of the ‘world standard’ benchmark. 

The working group comprised experts in research evaluation and quantitative indicator development with a broad knowledge of the Australian higher education research landscape. 

The working group chair was Professor Mark Western, from The University of Queensland. 

The members of the working group were: 

Name 

Title 

Professor Mark Western (Chair) 

Director, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland 

Professor Rose Amal 

Scientia Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of New South Wales 

Professor Larissa Behrendt 

Distinguished Professor, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney 

Emeritus Professor Brenda Cherednichenko 

Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University 

Professor Andrew Francis 

Deputy Dean, School of Computer, Data, and Mathematical Sciences, Western Sydney University 

Emeritus Professor John O’Connor 

Emeritus Professor, College of Engineering, Science and the Environment, The University of Newcastle 

Emeritus Professor Joanne Tompkins 

Emeritus Professor, School of Communication and Arts, The University of Queensland 

They are supported by a team of expert bibliometricians who provide technical advice on citation benchmarks. 

These bibliometricians are: 

Name 

Title 

Mr Adam Finch 

Manager of Science Performance Analytics, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 

Dr Sybille Hinze 

Head of Center for Open and Responsible Research, University Alliance, Berlin, Germany 

Professor Gunnar Sivertsen 

Head of Bibliometric Research, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Norway 

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