Higher Education Research Data Collection
The University collects all research publications published by staff, students and honorary associates. These publications are assessed in line with the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) guidelines. The HERDC collects information annually on the research income and research publications of all the Higher Education Providers in Australia. This is then used by the Government to distribute block grant funding. The HERDC publications are also used as part of the Excellence in Research for Australia submission.
USQ HERDC Business Operating Procedure
The Business Operating Procedure will serve as a guide for the management of all aspects of the HERDC publications collection and reporting at USQ. This will also provide transparency to the process.
Data collection and Deadlines
- Please submit all 2013 publication data to ePrints as soon as possible after it has been published and ensure your submission of 2013 publications is completed by 3 March 2014.
Your help is appreciated in guaranteeing we send an accurate and complete submission on time.
To be counted each research publication must:
- comply with the definition of research
- only be counted once by USQ
- e.g. if a conference paper is published in conference proceedings and is subsequently included as a chapter in a book, it can be counted as a chapter or as a conference paper but not both
- be characterised by:
- substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes
- originality (i.e. not a compilation of existing works)
- veracity/validity through a peer validation process or by satisfying the commercial publisher processes
- increasing the stock of knowledge
- being in a form that enables dissemination of knowledge.
These definitions are sourced from the 2014 HERDC Specifications for the Collection of 2013 data (PDF 558 KB), produced by the federal Department of Education. The definitions described on this page include:
- year of publication
- author affiliation
- peer review
- commercial publisher
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 (OECD, 2002).
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).
For a list of activities that do or do not support the conduct of research, please see the .(PDF 558 KB)2013 HERDC Specifications for the Collection of 2012 data
Year of Publication
The fundamental principles that underpin the publications data are:
- the publication is claimed in the appropriate year
- the year of publication must be verifiable
- the publication is claimed once only
To be able to count publications in the 2013 submission of Research Publications Return
- the research must have been published in the 2013 calendar year
- 2013 must be stated as the year of publication within or on the work being claimed.
The definition of published in this context is the date the publication was first released to its intended audience. Publications which are published as ‘advance’ or ‘in press online’ may be reported either in the year that they published online or the year of final publication. (The key requirement, as stated above, is that the publication is claimed only once).
Letters from authors, editors, creators etc stating that a research publication was published in 2013, even though 2013 is not stated within or on the work as the year of publication, are not acceptable evidence of the year of publication. There are two exceptions:
- for journal articles and/or conference publications that are produced on CD-ROM or are web-based, and do not contain a date published within or on the work being claimed, a letter from a journal editor or conference organiser verifying the published date may be accepted
- the date a conference was held may be acceptable evidence of the year of publication.
Pages showing the stated year of publication must be included in verification material.
The author of the research publication must be affiliated with USQ and must be identified either within or on the work being claimed. Where author affiliation with USQ is not identified within a work, the following evidence retained in verification material would be sufficient to demonstrate author affiliation and should include:
- a statement from the author indicating that he or she undertook the research leading to the publication in his or her capacity as a staff member or student of USQ
- an extract from USQ's staff or student list that lists the author.
Students (domestic or international) are considered to be those students undertaking HDR training to achieve a Research Doctorate (including Professional Doctorates) or a Research Masters.
Where a publication shows that an author has affiliation to more than one Higher Education Provider, each Australian Higher Education Provider named in that by-line can each count the publication.
Adjunct fellows, honorary staff members and staff on leave are considered affiliated with USQ if USQ is identified in the by-line.
An acceptable peer review process is one that involves impartial and independent assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety by independent, qualified experts before publication. 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:
- the journal is listed on the ARC's ERA 2012 journal list
- the journal is listed in Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge Master Journal List
- the journal is classified as 'refereed' in Ulrich's Knowledgebase.
- there is a statement in the journal which shows that contributions are peer reviewed
- there is a statement or acknowledgement form the journal editor which shows that contributions are peer-reviewed
- a copy of a reviewer's assessment relating to the article.
For conference publications, any of the of the following are acceptable as evidence of peer review:
- there is a statement in the conference proceedings which shows that contributions are peer-reviewed.
- there is a statement or acknowledgement from the conference proceedings editor which shows that contributions are peer reviewed
- a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the conference paper.
A statement from an author that a publication was peer-reviewed is not acceptable. The existence of a national/international advisory board is also not sufficient evidence that all relevant publications were assessed by member of it.
For the purposes of these specifications, a commercial publisher is an entity for which the core business is publishing 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.
For the purposes of these specifications, Higher Education Provider (HEP) and other self-supporting HEP presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its publication.
Publication is more than production of a book. It includes quality control such as peer review or equivalent in-house quality control through processes such as expert assessment or review, as well as editing, copy-editing, design, and conversion of the work to an appropriate format.
If an ISSN does not appear in the journal then one of the following is required:
- external evidence such as an ISSN number being cited in an extract from an authoritative listing, such as the Thomson-Reuters Master Journals List or from the Scopus database
- evidence that the journal is classified as ‘refereed’ in the Ulrich’s Knowledgebase
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