CHASS and ASSA welcome improvements to the ERA rankings

02 June 2011

The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and Academy of Social Sciences in Australia welcomes the government’s decision to drop prescriptive journal rankings in the ERA assessment exercise.

The announcements by Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Minister Senator Kim Carr, and Australian Research Council CEO Professor Margaret Sheil to jointly withdraw support for the problematic ranking of journals for the purposes of assessing research contributions of universities and their scholars were welcomed.

“This action clears the way for Australian political scientists, legal scholars, economists, demographers and regional studies experts in the social sciences to continue to employ their skills in the interest of Australia in its regional and world context” Dr Beaton said.

The ranking of publication outlets based on international prestige had threatened to drive productive researchers away from an Australian research focus in favour of research that would be of interest to countries, or regions, where the highest ranked publication outlets are found and would not be in the interest of Australia.

The announcements will “now strengthen the incentives for publishers to provide the forums where Australian scholars can attend to the crucial debates regarding immigration and population, taxation and public good, education and health, and the host of other issues that are of national importance”, Ms Magarry said.

The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the Academy of the Social Sciences are appreciative of the consultative process by which government arrived at its decision, and looks forward to further opportunities to assist government in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment exercise.

Contact for information:

Dr John Beaton
Executive Director
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
Phone: +61 2 6249 1788
Mobile: 0438 451 944

Ms Angela Magarry
Executive Director
Phone: +61 2 6201 2740
Mobile: 0437 227 422