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Australian research enters new ERA

Interested stakeholders are being encouraged to assist in the development of the Government’s new Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.

Releasing a consultation paper on the initiative today, Senator Kim Carr said that only by involving from the outset those affected by ERA could the Government expect to build stakeholder confidence in, and ownership of, the important new evaluation framework.

The consultation process was foreshadowed in February when the ERA was announced, as part of a transparent and robust development process for the new scheme.

“ERA will inform government, industry, business and others in our community about the quality of research in Australia’s higher education institutions, and guide future investment in research,” Senator Carr said.

“It is vital that ERA has the confidence of the sector it will assess. I am, therefore, committed to working hand-in-hand with researchers, and their institutions, to develop a robust approach to research quality evaluation that is internationally respected.

“I encourage anyone who is involved in research in Australia to respond to the consultation paper and take up the opportunity to contribute to the development of a first class evaluation framework.”

The ERA consultation paper seeks feedback on a range of issues, including the attribution of publications and other indicators of research, which will be crucial to ERA’s shape and utility.

The initiative, which is being developed by the Australian Research Council (ARC), reflects the Government’s commitment to a transparent, streamlined, metrics-based approach for evaluating research excellence in Australia’s universities.

Senator Carr said he anticipated that, following the general consultation process, the ARC would establish a Metrics Working Group and begin targeted consultation on the first clusters to be evaluated — the Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences and the Humanities and Creative Arts.

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