ARC-independent way to measure research performance

Excellence for Research in Australia is on hold – but not to worry there’s more than one way to make metrics

The excellent Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative has created a ranking pilot using public datasets to demonstrate, “it is feasible to implement an automated workflow for the production  of ERA 2018 and ERA 2023-like benchmarks and indicators.” *

This is a big deal indeed, not least because Education Minister Jason Clare put ERA 2023 on hold, “in light of the sector’s concerns about workload” (CMM August 31). It is a bigger one, given COKI’S intent is an open access research ranking, “to support the calculation of new performance metrics and indicators, where datasets are available that link outputs to performance data.”

The paper setting out how it is done is HERE.

Why this matters: COKI explains, “the increasing availability of open data, concerning research outputs and performance has been transformational. Concurrently computational tools have improved in performance to the extent that large scale analysis of massive datasets and accessible and cost-effective. “

Why it really matters: “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 … ” the authors suggest

* Julian Tonti-Filippini, Kathryn Napier, Cameron Neylon, “Automating ERA Benchmarks: An on-demand pilot system for calculating ERA-like benchmarks using open data and transparent analysis,” Zenodo September 16 2022