Publications FAQ

HERDC and ERA

What is HERCD?

The Australian Government, through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research & Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE), requires all Australian universities to report on research income received through research grants and research outputs published by academic staff. The process is known as the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC).

The data submitted for HERDC is used to calculate funding which is returned to each university through funding methods such as the Institutional Grants Scheme and the Research Block Grant. The University's share of the funding depends on both the number of submitted publications compared with other universities and the total pool of money made available by DIICCSRTE.

What is ERA?

The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is a submission to government of data about research income, research outputs (publications), esteem measures and applied measures. ERA data covers a 6 year period for research outputs, and a 3 year period for research income and other measures. The objectives of ERA are to:

  • establish an evaluation framework that gives government, industry, business and the wider community assurance of the excellence of research conducted in Australian higher education institutions
  • provide a national stocktake of discipline level areas of research strength and areas where there is opportunity for development in Australian higher education institutions
  • identify excellence across the full spectrum of research performance
  • identify emerging research areas and opportunities for further development
  • allow for comparisons of research in Australia, nationally and internationally, for all discipline areas.

Authors, affiliations and by-lines

What if the publication doesn't state the author's affiliation as The Australian National University?

If the author undertook the research leading to the publication while at The Australian National University (ANU) ask the author to sign the ANU author affiliation statement. Upload the signed document in PDF format to the ARIES Documents tab.

What if the by-line shows ANU and another university? 

Each university may claim the full value of the authors at their institution. For example, if the byline states that Mr X is affiliated with ANU and UNSW, both ANU and UNSW can claim this author at 100%. An affiliation is only split at less than 100% if the author shared research between different departments within ANU. Use the appointment details box on the Author tab to indicate the percentage points attributed to each ANU department.

What about authors who were visitors to ANU?

If the author undertook research leading to the publication while at ANU, but the byline lists another institution, ANU can still claim the publication if the author signs a statement certifying that he/she undertook the research leading to the publication at ANU. You will need evidence, such as an entry in an annual report, to show that the visitor was in the department.

If a publication shows ANU as the author's affiliation, but the research was carried out elsewhere, can we still claim the author's contribution? 

DIICCSRTE will accept the byline at face value, so the answer is yes.

If a publication shows another university or organisation as the author's affiliation, but the research was carried out by ANU, can we still claim the author's contribution?

If the publication affiliates the author with another institution, but you know the research was done at ANU, ask the author to sign the ANU author affiliation statement. Upload the signed document in PDF format to the ARIES Documents tab.

Can I add an ANU author to ARIES?

No. ANU authors can only be added by Research Services Division (RSD) staff. Please complete the new user request form.

Can I modify or delete a misspelt author in ARIES? 

No. Changes to authors can only be made by RSD. Email Publications Collection. Please include the ANU uni ID or external author's name in your request.

Can I add authors external to ANU into ARIES?

You can do this. You may find that the external author is already entered with a different institution. If this is the case you need to create a new external author record with the institution quoted in the publication you are entering.

Enter data in all fields. Note that the 'Institution' field is for the University name or organisation at its highest level. The department or subsidiary information goes in the 'Address' field. This data is used to capture collaboration between ANU staff and other institutions worldwide.

Can I claim a book if it is a revised edition?

Generally, no. However, if you can prove that the book has been substantially revised, you may be able to claim the book, or at least parts of it. For example, if new chapters have been added, you may claim the new chapters, as long as you can prove they were not in the previous edition (i.e. you must provide the contents page and bibliography from the previous edition).

Can I claim a translation or critical scholary text?

Translations and critical scholarly texts may qualify if the notes and introduction are substantial enough to be viewed as a major scholarly work. Otherwise, it may only be possible to claim the introduction as a book chapter. If in doubt emai Publications Collection.

Can I claim a textbook?

Generally, no. If any part of the book refers to it as a 'textbook', it would generally be excluded. Textbooks are usually considered to be a synthesis of existing knowledge, not the result of original research. If the book contains evidence of original research, it may qualify.

How do I know whether a publisher is 'commercial'?

A commercial publisher is an entity for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale. If publishing is not the core business of an organisation but there is a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication and its publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party, the publisher is acceptable as a commercial publisher.

If RSD staff consider the publisher meets the HERDC definition the publisher will display a "Yes" in the field 'Commercial publisher' in the book information at the bottom of the Header tab in the ARIES system. RSD reserves the right to make the final decision on commercial publisher status.

Can books published by government departments or university departments be included?

Usually government departments are not accepted as commercial publishers. The exception is the CSIRO. Books published by university presses, for example, University of Melbourne Press, which have responsibility for distributing books for sale are acceptable for HERDC and ERA. An academic department of a university cannot be accepted as a commercial publisher.

Books published by entities which do not meet the HERDC definition of 'commercial publisher' may be eligible if they have been peer reviewed.

Can chapters in art exhibition catalogues cound in the DIICCSRTE collection?

Generally no, although it depends on the content and the publishers. Galleries are generally not recognised as commercial publishers, although the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria are now accepted by DIICCSRTE. However these chapters/articles can be entered as non-HERDC categories.

Journal articles

What if the journal has no ISSN?

Articles in journals not having an ISSN are not eligible for HERDC and ERA. Enter them in ARIES as category C2.

What if a journal has an ISBN number instead of an ISSN?

Ensure that the publication is a journal, and not a book series. If the journal has both an ISBN and an ISSN, enter the ISSN for the journal. Occasionally a journal has an ISBN instead of an ISSN. These are normally serials published annually. Email Publications Collection for advice on the best way to categorise these publications.

What about journals published electronically or on the web?

Articles are eligible for HERDC as long as the journal has an ISSN and is refereed.

The journal has two ISSNs - online and print. Which ISSN do I use?

We do not differentiate in ARIES. Link the article to the journal by matching the title.

Is the jounal 'peer-reviewed' or 'refereed'?

Check the referee status in ARIES or online at Thomson Reuters Master Journal List or Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. All journals listed in Thomson Reuters Master Journal List are refereed. Ulrichsweb indicates whether a journal is refereed or not. Research Services staff will seek confirmation of the journal referee status should it not be noted in ARIES.

What if the article is not in the main section of the journal?

Articles in the 'main' section of a refereed journal are assumed to be refereed. Articles in sections such as 'Letters', 'Correspondence', 'Brief Reports' may not have been refereed and may not be eligible for HERDC and ERA. Email Publications Collection for advice.

Conference papers

Was the conference, workshp or seminar of national or international importance?

The conference paper must have been presented at a conference of national or international importance. It is unlikely that 'seminars' would meet this requirement.

Were the conference proceedings published in the HERDC collection year?

Conference papers may be published as one-off proceedings such as a book or special edition of a journal, a CD-Rom or on the conference or organiser's web site.

The date of publication usually appears on the verso of a book, the front page of a journal or the packaging of a CD-Rom. A website will usually state when the contents were uploaded.

Do the conference proceedings need an ISBN or ISSN?

The proceedings may have either, but it is not mandatory in order to claim the paper as category E1 for HERDC and ERA.

If the proceedings are published in a book and the paper is claimed as category B1, the book must have an ISBN.

If the proceedings are published in a journal and the paper is claimed as category C1 the journal must have an ISSN.

How do I know whether a conference paper is eligible for HERDC and ERA? 

The paper must present previously unpublished research. The full paper must have been refereed and be published. A keynote address when all other submitted papers are refereed is eligible. Abstracts and extracts are not eligible for HERDC and ERA. Enter them in ARIES as category E2.

How do I know if the conference was refereed?

This may be stated in the preface or introduction of the proceedings. Alternatively the author may have a copy of the peer reviewer's report. RSD staff will investigate the referee status of a conference.

Dual publication

What do I do if the same publication was published as a book chapter and a journal article or conference paper? 

You may only claim the publication once, regardless of whether it was published in a different year in the other format. If the same author has published more than one chapter in the same book (including the chapter in question), the scoring system means that the double-published chapter will score better if it is claimed in a different format (ie journal article or conference paper). Otherwise, there is no difference between the categories. You may claim only one as a HERDC category and the other(s) as non-HERDC.

Entering data

Do I enter the authors in the same order as the publication, or my departmental authors first?

Always enter authors in the order they are listed on the publication. This will provide an accurate citation for annual report lists.

Who enters the data into ARIES?

Many staff in Research Schools and Centres are trained to classify publications and enter them into ARIES. Please contact Publications Collection if you are unable to find your local representative. Authors who have an ARIES account are able to log in to check their publications. More information is available on the ARIES page.

What if I do not have all the inforamtion to complete the record?

You can enter an incomplete record in ARIES, as long as the mandatory elements are there. You may like to use the 'Notes' tab to record what needs completion.

Page numbers

How do I enter the page numbers of publicaitons?

For whole books, enter the total number of pages (eg. 350); for everything else, enter the page range (eg. 120-180).

Publication year

What if an item was published in the year preceding the collection year, but was not available until the collection year?

The item may be claimed in the following HERDC submission if it can be demonstrated that the publication was not produced until after the submission date for that year's publication return i.e. that the publication, although containing a 2011 publication date, was not released until after 30 June 2012. A letter from the publisher is sufficient verification material to support the claim.

What if I find a publication which should have been included in a previous year's collection, but wasn't?

Apart from the situation above where the publication was not released until after the submission date, items which could have been claimed in previous years can not be claimed. Enter such publications in ARIES with a HERDC category so that they will be considered for ERA.

What if the item displays two years for the publications date?

The year of publication is normally the latest of the year indicated as published, printed or the year of copyright. A publication with a 2013 copyright date can be reported in the 2012 collection, provided it has a publication date of 2012, and it is not counted again in the 2013 collection.

Verification materials

Why do I have to provide copies of all the information?

DIICCSRTE require universities to retain evidence that publications were eligible for HERDC for a period of three years. The verification materials are also used by RSD staff when checking that all publication submitted for HERDC meet the specifications. It is requested that all verification material is supplied as PDF files and uploaded to the ARIES Documents tab.

Do you require a full copy of the article/paper/book chapter?

Yes. For all publication categories except books, a full copy of the publication is required. For books, a copy of the preface and/or introduction and/or the first chapter is needed, if no preface or introduction exists, together with proof of publication year. All publications must meet the HERDC criteria for research.

What if I cannot access a copy of the publication or the right details?

The earlier you start looking, the better! This is especially true where academics have left your department during the year - it is much easier to get a copy of the publication from them before they leave, rather than the following year when they may be overseas and difficult to contact. If you cannot access the necessary materials in time for RSD to make an assessment of eligibility for the publication, the publication will be removed from the HERDC collection. It is important to try all avenues to locate information - for example, most journals publish on the web, or publishers often have detailed descriptions of books on their websites.

Do you require verification materials for non-HERDC categories?

At this stage these materials are not required. However, RSD is currently re-evaluating data collection for non-HERDC publications, so this may change in the future.

What else can I do to streamline the process?

RSD will want to know what progress you are making with the input of data into ARIES. Email Publications Collection.

Foreign language publications

What if the publication is in a foreign language?

The HERDC Specifications stipulate that any verification materials provided for a publication must be in English. This means that any foreign language materials should include a translation of core information such as referee status and year of publication. In the case of whole articles/chapters, it is sufficient to provide a translation of the abstract, or a summary of the publication's content. Similarly, for a book, a translation of the introduction, or part of the introduction, will suffice. There must be enough evidence in English to allow a positive assessment of the publication against the HERDC criteria.