Research rankings “pernicious” say historians

A researcher association wants them gone

CMM’s “good luck with that” correspondent reports that the Australian Association for Study of Labour History has resolved to oppose universities, “issuing lists of approved and/or ranked journals for publication by academic staff members.”

“By imposing a pernicious system of punishments and rewards, such lists undermine academic freedom, imperil the future of many academic journals, and threaten the study of Australian history.”

Fair enough – but there is another less high-ground reason which could encourage DVC Rs to agree. The discipline went backwards in Excellence for Research in Australia 2018.  Overall 13 out of 28 unis were rated above/well above world standard – down from 17 in 2015. Three unis “above world standard” in ’15 dropped a grade in ’18. This occurred, learned readers advise, despite some departments hiring prolific and prestigious people in the hope their publications would improve rankings (CMM May 29).


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