Section 1

Additional Reporting on ERA 2015

ERA is an assessment system that evaluates the quality of the research conducted at Australian universities by discipline. It identifies the research strengths of individual universities and of the sector as a whole. It also highlights disciplines where there are opportunities to develop the research capacities of Australian universities.

All eligible institutions submit comprehensive information to the ARC about their research activities, including details relating to staff, publications and other research outputs, awards, grants, income from industry and other research users, income from the commercialisation of research, and other applied measures such as patents. Submitted items can be coded to multiple fields of research, facilitating the capture of interdisciplinary activity. Committees of internationally-recognised researchers evaluate this material by discipline. Their expert judgments are informed by a range of summary indicators and quality assessments derived from the data submitted.

The State of Australian University Research: Volume 1 ERA National Report provides the first detailed look at the information submitted by Australian eligible institutions to the ERA evaluation and the ratings decisions made by Research Evaluation Committees (RECs) of internationally-recognised researchers. Subsequent volumes of this report will provide in-depth analysis of selected topics, these analysis will include such topics such as volume and activity, gender, open access and other areas of interest.

The following part of this section provides some preliminary analysis of the diversity within institutions in terms of the volume of research outputs and submitted FTE staff. In addition, there is a brief look at the gender and open access reporting that was first introduced in ERA 2015 (this information was requested for reporting information only, it was not presented to Research Evaluation Committees during evaluation).