“Research evaluation at the Australian Research Council (ARC), one of the country’s main funding bodies, is set to get a makeover. Last month, an independent expert review recommended that the ARC scrap its 13-year-old research-scoring system, known as Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), and its companion exercise, the Engagement and Impact assessment, which grades the real-world benefits of institutions’ work. Both had been on hold since last August, awaiting the findings of the review.
This is a rare case in which an evaluation system can be rewritten from scratch. The ARC should take this opportunity to improve how it measures and communicates the value of Australia’s research workforce, on the basis of not just lessons learnt from the ERA’s deficiencies, but also principles that have been developed and implemented elsewhere in the world. In doing so, it will help to create a research culture that reflects the best possible values that research should represent….”