A new ERA for researchers

When Education Minister Jason Clare told the Australian Research Council to ditch its 2023 research assessment he called for consultations on a new model (CMM August 31)  

And consult the council will, announcing a working group to advise on a “modern, data driven assessment model.”

It’s a ministry of all the talents, with a bunch of DVC Rs, peak lobbyists and the occasional official (full list in appointments, achievements, down page)

muck around they will not: there will be “broad consultation later this year” and a transition plan “delivered” in December.  The new ERA will be implemented in 2024-25.

as to Engagement and Impact: the ARC’s second research metric was previously scheduled for 2024 but the ARC states, “more information will be published … as it becomes available.” However submission data for the three assessed fields (impact, associated research and engagement) will still be collected

so what could a “data driven” ERA look like: CMM has no clue, although one member of the working party might have ideas for colleagues to kick-around. Cameron Neylon and colleagues at the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative have just published a paper on a pilot research ranking which uses public datasets and demonstrates, “it is feasible to implement an automated workflow for the production of ERA 2018 and ERA 2023-like benchmarks and indicators.”

“National assessment exercises, as well as many higher education providers, continue to rely on traditional, proprietary data sources for performance evaluation. Open data sources are competitive against proprietary counterparts and offer the potential for greater transparency, access, accuracy and completeness,” they suggest. (CMM September 21).