Big lift in Australian research

Australian researchers increased their output by 112 per cent in the decade to 2016, according to the Innovative Research Universities Group. This was way ahead of Australia’s competitive set, with UK output up 49 per cent, the US 30 per and all of the OECD 39 per cent. (However, China’s output was 249 per cent.)

Australia is now responsible for roughly 4 per cent of the total scientific output in the Web of Science (database), despite having 0.3 per cent of the world’s population and 1.6 per of world GDP,” the IRU states.

This is not the result of a bigger system, individual academics are also producing more, and better regarded research, with a 48 per cent increase, to 1.1 articles, between 2006-09 and 2013-16. The proportion of research that is highly cited (top 5 per cent in field) grew one per cent, to 6.3 per cent in the same period.

The IRU points out that the growth occurred since the present dual funding system was introduced, in 2001, with block grants going to universities and separate funding allocated to research projects in competitive processes.

The data is released as the IRU releases its submission to the House of Representative’s committee inquiry on research funding (below).


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