Who do I contact if I have queries?

In the first instance, you should contact your ERA Liaison Officer. ARC contacts are as follows—email or call the ERA Helpdesk on 02 6287 6755 (between 9.00am and 5.00pm (AEST), Canberra time, Monday-Friday).

Changes for ERA 2018

What has changed between ERA 2015 and ERA 2018?

Following the ARC review of ERA 2015 and a consultation with the higher education sector, the ARC has made several changes to ERA 2018 from ERA 2015  to improve the ERA process. A summary of the key changes for ERA 2018 is available on pages 10 to 13 of the ERA 2018 Submission Guidelines.

Why are esteem measures no longer included in ERA 2018?

Feedback from Research Evaluation Committee (REC) members indicated that esteem measures did not contribute significantly to the overall ERA assessment.

Eligible Researchers

Why are ‘teaching only’ staff included in ERA? 

ERA is a comprehensive assessment. Institutions must report all eligible staff and their outputs. This includes ‘teaching only’ staff who have eligible research outputs during the ERA reference period. If staff have the ‘Other’ function (including teaching only), their FTE will not be included in the FTE calculation.

If an institution doesn’t know a researcher’s ORCID, how can they report it?

The ERA 2018 Submission Guidelines state that when an institution knows a researcher’s ORCID, they must submit that information. If an institution does not know a researcher’s ORCID, then the ARC does not expect them to report it for ERA 2018.

Does income per FTE include researchers employed with other functions?

In ERA 2018, the income per FTE will not include researchers employed with other functions.

Research Outputs


What is the limit on non-traditional research output (NTRO) file sizes and how can institutions submit an output that is larger than the limit?

For the purposes of ERA, individual NTRO files in repositories should be no greater than 30 MB (see section of the ERA-SEER 2018 Technical Specifications). If the research output file size is larger than 30MB, they must be broken down into files which do not exceed the maximum size. The file-size limitation stipulated is for individual files. So a Portfolio has no file-size limitation if each individual work within it does not exceed 30MB. To ensure reviewers view outputs in order, institutions should give the files names that allow for a logical viewing order (e.g. output 1, output 2, output 3 etc.)

Do the changes to RODA Links apply to NTROs?

All research outputs will require a direct link to the output. Links to metadata pages will not be valid. This change applies to all research outputs nominated for peer review, including NTROs.

For peer review, can an institution use YouTube or Vimeo links for video or performance outputs as long as they are linked directly to the output?

A link to a video streaming service, such as You Tube or Vimeo, cannot be used.

Supported formats are listed in the Technical Specifications.

Peer review

How do institutions calculate the 30% sample of all research outputs for peer review?

For the disciplines that are subject to peer review, institutions must nominate 30% of the apportioned value of each research output type for each four-digit FoR.

When calculating the number of research outputs for each sample, institutions must round up all fractions to the next integer.

When the number of a particular research output type is greater than zero, institutions must provide at least one research output for peer review.

The total sample required for each four-digit FoR is the sum of the sample for each research output type within the FoR. This may mean that sometimes the total sample for an FoR is greater than 30 per cent. Appendix C of the ERA 2018 Submission Guidelines has an example of how to calculate the number of outputs.

Does the 30% of output types apply to individual non-traditional research output types or is it 30% of the total number of non-traditional research outputs?

For the purposes of constructing the sample of outputs for peer review, non-traditional research outputs are a single category. The sample will be 30% of the total number of non-traditional research outputs. The intention of the example in Appendix C of the ERA 2018 Submission Guidelines is to show 'non-traditional research outputs' as a category alongside the traditional research output categories 'books', 'journal articles' etc.

If the two-digit UoE is below the low volume threshold, will the institution need to nominate 30% of outputs for peer review?

It is not necessary to nominate items for peer review in any four-digit FoR where the low volume threshold is not met for the corresponding two-digit FoR. The peer review sample for a two-digit FoR is made up of the samples from the four-digit FoRs that sit within the two-digit FoR. As per Section 3.3 of the Submission Guidelines, when an FoR at an institution does not meet the low volume threshold, that UoE will not be evaluated and will be reported publicly as ‘not assessed’. Per Section 3.6, institutions must submit all data at the four-digit FoR level, including for low-volume four-digit FoRs to enable evaluation at the two-digit level. However, where UoEs will not be evaluated at the two-digit level, it is not necessary to nominate any sample for peer review.

It is each institution's responsibility to understand whether UoEs meet the low volume threshold, and to be ready to nominate samples for peer review in the event that any UoE unexpectedly meets the threshold.

Data for outputs

My institution uses a third party provider to assist in its ERA submission process. Can I supply the ERA 2018 Submission Journal List, the ERA 2018 Conference List and/or the ERA 2018 Publisher list to a company or organisation outside my own institution?

Universities must inform the ARC at if a third party provider (the provider) needs the submission lists. The ARC will directly approach the provider and ask them to name the institution using their product for the ERA 2018 submission. The ARC will supply lists to providers in confidence, to support the named institution's ERA 2018 submission only. They are not for external distribution or other uses. Once the third party agrees to these conditions, the ARC will supply the lists directly to the third party.

If an institution doesn’t know the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of an output, how can they report it?

The ERA 2018 Submission Guidelines states that when an institution knows a DOI, they must submit that information. If an institution does not know a DOI, then the ARC does not expect them to report it.

Is Available in Open Access Repository a mandatory field for all research outputs (not only those for peer review)?

Yes, Open Access is a mandatory field for all research outputs. Institutions are required to indicate whether an output is available in an open access repository.

The 'repository' that is referred to in the Electronic Location description ( Technical Specifications) is that of the peer review item. The Open Access status of the output has no bearing on the peer review details or location.

Does ‘freely available’ or ‘free to read’ in an institutional or other public access repository or publisher site without a CC license count as open access for the purposes of ERA 2018?

Yes, for ERA 2018, a research output that is available as legally “free to read” in an institutional repository or elsewhere is considered to be open access and can be reported as such. This is the case whether or not there is a CC licence attached to it.


What IP address should institutions use for the repository IP authentication method? 

What is an indexed journal/journal article?

A journal is ‘indexed’ when its bibliographic and citation information is included by the citation data supplier.

A journal article is ‘indexed’ when a unique output identifier exists for the journal article.

What happens with non-indexed journals?

If the research output submitted is not in a journal indexed by Clarivate, but is on the ERA 2018 Submission Journal List, institutions must still submit it to ERA but it will not be eligible for citation analysis. The non-indexed output will contribute to other ERA indicators such as the Outlet Frequency and Volume and Activity indicators.

Please note that for disciplines that use citation analysis as an indicator (See ERA 2018 Discipline Matrix – Excel Format  – PDF Format), only those journal articles which have a unique electronic identifier contribute to the Low Volume Threshold for ERA.

Which Clarivate document types match the document types that are eligible for ERA 2018?

The ERA eligible document types are: journal articles, conference papers in journals on the ERA journal list, and reviews. These document types are reported by Clarivate in the databases used for tagging as follows:

  • Article
  • Journal Article
  • Proceeding paper
  • Meeting Paper
  • Review.

However, the research output must also meet the definition of research and the relevant eligibility criteria as outlined in the ERA 2018 submission guidelines.