Significant changes to ERA 2012

Australian academics have just learnt that the current way of judging the quality of our publications has just been scrapped. Here is the media release and here is the article in The Australian. The full details are yet to be known, but it looks to be a better way to assess quality, but with perhaps a greater administrative cost.

On reading more of the details, it seems the journals will still be evaluated (i.e., ranked) but by an opaque process where there will be a research evaluation committee set up to determine, essentially, the order of the journals. This order, I presume, will not be known to the academics. This is to prevent lists being used as performance targets within universities. From the media release:

… evaluation committees will be presented with a profile of the journals (or other relevant publications) used most frequently by the unit under evaluation.

Is it too early to predict a disaster?

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2 thoughts on “Significant changes to ERA 2012

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  1. At the end of the day the panel will have to decide what is a good publication. Even before
    journal rankings, where a paper appeared was one thing that people used to judge this eg “Oh its an Annals paper, it must be good”. Now instead of having a transparent approved list we are at the whim of the panel. If anything it will be even more important to publish in Annals and citations will carry even more weight.

    Pure Maths was peer reviewed last time but what that actually means is not clear.

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