Non-Traditional Research Outputs, or NTROs, offer valuable and important contributions to knowledge and to USC’s vibrant research culture.
USC has established an NTRO Assessment Panel to evaluate NTROs in a systematic, timely and ongoing manner.
The NTRO Assessment Panel consists of staff members representing a range of schools, primarily those most likely to produce NTROs. Staff from USC Library Research Bank and the Office of Research's Research Performance and Information Systems play an important role on the committee and have assisted in establishing a set of processes that ensure fair and equitable evaluation of NTROs. The committee will:
Currently the Scimago Q1-rated long form journal article is USC’s preferred standard for traditional research outputs. In the same way papers are gauged and assessed in terms of quality, USC has established a preferred NT1–NT4 from works of major international standing to regional and local outputs. While USC recognises and supports NTROs, staff are strongly encouraged to also publish in traditional forms (such as journal articles). Such publications provide the NTRO with additional support, peer review and validation for the work as research.
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The Australian Research Council (ARC) define research ‘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, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.’
The ARC’s definition 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).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines research and development (R&D) in accordance with the OECD standard: ‘As comprising creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge.’
These definitions are consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development comprising ’creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge’ as defined in the ARC funding rules.
The NTRO Assessment Panel’s approach is built from guidelines established by the ARC, in particular how they relate to Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). The committee has dual purposes: research capacity building, and; working toward ERA submission readiness. The committee will recognise NTROs where the output meets the following criteria:
The panel will judge and meet consensus about submissions using these criteria:
The NTRO Assessment Panel will classify submissions according to the following rankings:
|NT1||Major - works of significant scale and major international standing|
|NT2||Standard - works of national standard|
|NT3||Works of national standing, but small in scale, and regional works|
|NT4||Works of local significance|
|NR||Works which are not research - this may apply to teaching-related material or other content not meeting the ERA definition of research|
Some activities, works and/or research statements will be returned to researchers for additional evidence or clarification and classified initially as Returns. This categorisation covers work that would benefit from re-evaluation by the researcher following peer feedback.
Assessment of NTROs is therefore more likely to align with those determinations of quality associated with traditional research outputs where only a small percentage of outputs are determined at a Q1 level.
Researchers are responsible for:
In order for an NTRO to be ERA eligible, it is important to provide supporting documentation as per the following checklist:
After the submission is uploaded into USC Research Bank, it will be reviewed by the NTRO Assessment Panel to ensure all requirements have been met and that the output is eligible for ERA review. The researcher may be asked to make changes or provide further documentation or evidence.
If you have any questions or practical uploading questions, please contact the USC Library Research Bank team in the first instance.
If you have any questions about school areas of research focus, contact the chair of your school’s research committee or your deputy Head of School (Research).