As of 2016, HERDC publications reports are no longer being submitted to the government. USC is still collecting publications as per the specifications below for the internal Research Publications Data Collection (RPDC) as well as preparation for ERA reporting.
RPDC (Research Publications Data Collection) was formerly known as HERDC (Higher Education Research Data Collection). An annual report, it is the University's main source of information on research activity. Prior to 2016, HERDC submission to the Commonwealth Government included both research income and research publications, and determined our Research Block Grant funding amounts. Changes to the way research funding is allocated to universities has meant that from 2016 publications are no longer being included in the government submission.
Although not submitted to the government, publication data is continued to be collected by USC for the purpose of reporting on research activity internally and for other research reporting schemes.
This guide covers research publication reporting only. For information on research income reporting for HERDC, please contact the Office of Research.
Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.
This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) as comprising of creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.
This definition of research encompasses pure and strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. Applied research is original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge but directed towards a specific, practical aim or objective (including a client-driven purpose).
Activities that support the conduct of research and therefore meet the definition of research include:
Activities that do not support the conduct of research must be excluded, such as:
Non-Traditional Creative Works (NTROs) were not submitted as part of the annual HERDC collection, however they are included in the ERA collection. As such, they are now eligible for the annual RPDC collection of research outputs.
NTROs must satisfy the same crieteria as RPDC publications in the "All publications" tab, as well as:
Further information on NTRO eligibility criteria can be found here.
If you have an NTRO research output, let us know the details by completing this form. You can also attach your Research Statement as part of the online submission if you wish.
For consideration for ERA submission, a Research Statement identifying the research component of your output is required to accompany each creative work. This statement must be around 250 words (no more than 2000 characters) and address the following categories:
The following is an example of an acceptable visual arts research statement as provided by the ARC in the ERA guidelines:
Current international developments in painting have identified the need to establish complex forms for representing identity in terms of facial expression. While this research recognises the significance of facial expression, it has overlooked the unstable nature of identity itself.
The paintings Multiple Perspectives by Y address the question of the unstable nature of identity as expressed in painterly terms through a study in unstable facial phenomenon using the philosophical concept of 'becoming‘. In doing so it arrives at a new benchmark for the discipline in understanding visual identity, namely that identity is not bound to stable facial phenomena but, like other forms of meaning, is constantly undergoing change.
The significance of this research is that it overcomes barriers for visually understanding the complex nature of identity and its expressive painterly possibilities. Its value is attested to by the following indicators: selection of the painting for inclusion in the international exhibition Documenta, Kassel, Germany; its inclusion as a case study in the renowned Courtauld Institute, University of London, Issues in Contemporary Art graduate seminar series; its being the subject of a chapter in the book Identity Reframed published by Thames and Hudson and authored by the renowned art historian Z; its forming part of a competitively funded ARC project.
For the purpose of reporting eligibility, authored books and book chapters must be published by a commercial publisher. The requirement for a commercial publisher takes the place of a formal peer review as required for journal articles and conference papers.
The recognised definition of 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.
Universities and other self-supporting university presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its printing.
Publishers that may not be eligible include:
For the purposes of the reporting eligibility, an acceptable peer review process is one that involves impartial and independent assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety before publication, conducted by independent, qualified experts. Independent in this context means independent of the author.
Peer review is required for journal articles and conference publications. It is also required for books and book chapters that are not published by a commercial publisher.
For journal articles, any of the following are acceptable as evidence of peer review:
For conference publications, any of the following are acceptable as evidence of peer review:
For books and book chapters that are not published by a commercial publisher any of the following are acceptable as evidence of peer review:
Note: A statement from an author that a publication was peer reviewed is not acceptable. The existence of a national or international advisory board is also not sufficient evidence that all relevant publications were assessed by members of it.