ARC sticks to its rule on funding application

There is consternation in the research community over DECRA applicants being excluded for including or referring to a pre-print in their bid

It appears that this is indeed an Australian Research Council requirement that applied to the recent Discovery Early Career Research Awards.

The ARC advises that the exclusion is in the grant guidelines, application and twice in the applicant instructions. It adds that research offices were told in webinar briefings on grants.

“The inclusion of a pre-print in an application results in the application being ineligible. This provides fairness to all researchers who do act in accordance with the eligibility criteria, and the rules applying to the scheme.”

Which explains what the ARC did – but not why the rule is needed. In a world where journal research is still behind publisher paywalls pre-prints are important for open access.