ERA Research Excellence Rankings of Australian Universities
Research has always been integral to the modern university system but it is an aspect of higher education that has been threatened by the increasing tendency of universities to function as vocational training institutions. To counter the effects of this tendency there have been an increasing number of initiatives in areas such as funding and the encouragement of scholarship.
The Australian Research Council (ARC) makes a contribution in this direction by conducting the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation of research conducted within Australia's higher education research institutions. The objectives of ERA are to:
* Establish an evaluation framework: - provide assurance to all stakeholders regarding the quality of Australian research
* Provide a national stocktake: - identify research strengths and areas of opportunity
* Identify excellence: - uncover and promote high quality research performance
* Identify emerging research: - find opportunities for further development
* Allow for comparisons: - match up and evaluate similar national and international research efforts
There are four broad indicator categories which are used to develop the ERA ratings comprised of:
* Indicators of research quality: - there are a number of different elements contributing to the evaluation of research quality namely publishing profile and citation analusis, peer reviewed international and Australian research income, and ERA peer review
* Indicators of research volume and activity: - key indicators are total research outputs and research income along with research items relevant to the context of the research being conducted.
* Indicators of research application: - measures how the research was commercialised or otherwise contributed to the generation of income or was applied in some other measurable way.
* Indicators of recognition: - recognition is established through the application of esteem measurements
It is from these measurements that a general overview of excellence in Australian research has been established.
Source: Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)