Output exclusion guidelines

Standardised eligibility criteria are used to ensure consistency in research outputs assessment, and eligibility for external reporting.

Outputs assessed by the verification team are assigned various exclusion reasons, where it is deemed they do not meet the relevant eligibility criteria. These reasons are outlined below. If you wish to appeal an exclusion, please refer to the information under the relevant exclusion reason, and then complete the Outputs Appeal Form to commence the review process.

  • Also published as

    Often research outputs are published in more than one format - for example, a conference paper may subsequently be published in the following year as a journal article or book chapter (with or without further revision). Outputs containing the same research content may only be counted once, in one format. It is, however, legitimate to have alternative versions of an output recorded in CRO as ‘Also published as’ items.

    A revised research output may only be claimed if it contains substantial new research content. A supporting statement which demonstrates the new research content for the revised output must be provided if you wish to claim both outputs.

  • Book review

    Book reviews are not considered eligible unless the content of the review reports original research and makes a substantial contribution to a defined area of knowledge. You may supply a supporting statement on the appeal form if you feel the book review meets this criteria.

  • Case study

    A case study cannot be claimed where there is a single subject or very small number of subjects in the study, due to the inability to generalise from the results, and potential difficulty in replicating results. In order to appeal you will need to demonstrate in your supporting statement the substantial contribution that the case study makes to a defined area of knowledge.

  • Does not meet research definition

    All submissions must meet the definition of research, as outlined in the specifications:

    ERA defines research as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include the synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

    This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development comprising “creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge” as defined in the ARC funding rules.

    Key characteristics are:

    • Substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes
    • Originality (ie., not a compilation of existing works)
    • Veracity/validity through a peer review process or the quality control processes of a commercial publisher
    • Increasing the stock of knowledge; and
    • Being in a form that enables the dissemination of knowledge

    In general, the above means that it must be a traditional scholarly publication, and would normally include a reference list, footnotes or in-text references. It should be original and innovative (not a summary of other works) and engage with the topic in some depth (not a simple overview). It should have investigation as a chief characteristic.

    Please frame your appeal response according to the research definition when providing your supporting statement, as this statement will be supplied to the ARC if they query inclusion of the output in our ERA submission.

  • Edited book

    Editorship of a book cannot be claimed. If you are an author of one or more individual chapters these can be claimed separately.

  • Editorial

    An editorial is not considered eligible unless the content of the article reports original research and makes a substantial contribution to a defined area of knowledge. You may supply a supporting statement on the appeal form if you feel the editorial meets this criteria.

  • Foreign language

    Foreign language publications are only eligible to be counted if the necessary evidence for the output type can be supplied in English. It is not necessary to translate the entire publication, but all relevant sections required for the verification of information to demonstrate that it meets the criteria of the category against which it is being claimed should be translated. This includes evidence that the work is a major work of scholarship and meets the definition of research. You may appeal this exclusion if you are able to supply evidence of this nature.

  • Foreword

    A foreword is not considered eligible unless the content reports original research and makes a substantial contribution to a defined area of knowledge, for example, it should not only be a summary of the information from the book. You may supply a supporting statement on the appeal form if you feel the foreword meets this criteria.

  • Insubstantial

    Outputs must be of sufficient length/contain substantial research content to be considered for inclusion (generally, a single page is considered insufficient). The ARC defines ‘substantial’ as “scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes.”

    If you wish to appeal, you will need to provide a supporting statement as to how the output makes a substantial contribution in spite of its brevity.

  • Insufficient materials supplied

    Use of this exclusion code indicates that the verification team were unable to obtain the necessary materials required to complete assessment, after exhausting all possible means (including contacting CSU authors and editors/publishers where relevant). Evidence required will be listed under “Exclusion comments” in your outcomes report. If you are able to provide the necessary evidence please attach this to the form, in order for your output to be re-assessed.

  • Multiple edition of book

    There may be cases where there is a revision of a research output after the publication of the output. A book or a chapter published in a subsequent edition may only be claimed if it contains substantial new research content. A supporting statement which demonstrates the new research content for the revised output must be provided if you wish to claim both outputs.

  • No ISSN

    Journal articles must be published in a journal that has an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN). If you are able to supply an ISSN for the journal please provide evidence of this on the form. You can also make a request to the journal publisher for them to register for an ISSN, though this may take some time to be processed (up to 20 working days after an ISSN request is submitted, see https://portal.issn.org/node/82 for further information).

  • Not commercial publisher

    For books and book chapters, the concept of a commercial publisher is used as a surrogate test of quality in place of a peer review requirement. A commercial publisher is defined as an entity for which the core business is publishing books and distributing them for sale.

    ‘Publication’ is more than the production of a book. It needs to include quality control such as peer review or equivalent in-house quality control through processes such as expert assessment or review, as well as editing, copy-editing, design, and conversion of the work to an appropriate format.

    If publishing is not the core business of an organisation, but there is a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication and its publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party, the publisher is acceptable as a commercial publisher. University presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its printing.

    Note that in order to be considered a commercial publisher for these purposes, companies must generally demonstrate a degree of editorial responsibility and financial risk in choosing to publish, as well as be responsible for the entire publishing process (including printing and distribution). For this reason, 'vanity presses', as well as companies specialising primarily in the publication of theses are NOT considered to meet the 'commercial publisher' criteria.

    Evidence of commercial publisher status is generally available on the web pages of publishing companies. If this cannot be determined you will need to supply evidence that the book or chapter was subject to peer review – see “Books and chapters” under the next section relating to peer review.

  • Not peer reviewed

    An acceptable peer review process is one that involves impartial and independent assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety before publication, conducted by independent, qualified experts. Independent in this context means independent of the author.

    Peer review is required for:

    • Journal articles:
      We will check for the appearance of the peer review icon against the journal on an Ulrichs search, or by the listing of the journal on the ERA 2018 journal list. During assessment of your output, if we are unable to find evidence of peer review we will request evidence from you in the form of a statement in the journal or from the journal editor which shows that contributions are peer reviewed, or a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the article itself. (Please note that a reviewer’s assessment needs to confirm that the article was subject to full assessment/review – ie, more than just proofing or editing)
    • Conference papers:
      The most common evidence is an explicit statement from the conference proceedings or in the preamble which shows that contributions are peer reviewed; however, we can also accept a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the conference paper itself (this needs to confirm that the article was subject to full assessment/review – ie, more than just proofing or editing), or an explicit peer review statement in the call for papers or conference website . Note that the statement needs to confirm the peer review process on the full paper – ie, not just on the abstract or poster presentation.
    • Books and book chapters:
      Evidence of peer review is now required for any books or book chapters which are NOT published by a commercial publisher. Acceptable evidence includes: a statement in the book which shows that contributions are peer reviewed and, in the case of book chapters, indicating which chapters are peer reviewed (if this does not apply to the entire book); a statement or acknowledgement from the publisher or editor confirming peer review; a copy of a reviewer’s assessment relating to the book or chapter. Please note that a reviewer’s assessment needs to confirm that the article was subject to full assessment/review – ie, more than just proofing or editing.

    Note that a statement from an author that a publication was peer reviewed is not acceptable. The existence of a national or international advisory board is also not sufficient evidence that all relevant publications were assessed by members of it.

    If you have any of the evidence as outlined in the relevant sections above, please attach it to the form, along with your supporting statement.

  • Other

    If your output has been excluded as ‘Other’ you will be able to see the specific reason in your outcomes report under “Exclusion comments”. Please send an email with the details of your output to researchoutputs@csu.edu.au to query whether there is a way to appeal the exclusion.

  • Professional practice

    Creative works must have a demonstrable research context/background and level of creative involvement aimed at creating new knowledge to be eligible. Outputs that draw on an academic’s professional knowledge, technical skills and/or experience but do not have an original research component are best described as professional practice.

    This requirement should be addressed through the research statement, under “Research background”. If you feel your output has been incorrectly assessed as professional practice you will need to supply an updated research statement and any additional relevant evidence for the assessment panel to consider when revisiting the output.

  • Progress report - not final version

    Progress reports cannot be claimed unless they are of sufficient length and contain information relating to different stages of the project that will not be covered in the final version of the report. Generally progress reports are a summary of the research to date and as such do not meet the definition of research in themselves. Your supporting statement will need to outline what additional contribution the progress report makes to the stock of knowledge that is not already being provided in the final report.

  • Public engagement

    Research outputs that have a primary purpose of summarising or translating research for the benefit of end-users are generally considered as ‘engagement’. If you wish to appeal this classification you will need to demonstrate in your supporting statement what the original research component is, and outline the contribution the output makes to a defined area of knowledge.

  • Text/Reference book

    Text or reference books are generally not considered eligible unless they contain content of at least one of the following:

    • critical scholarly texts
    • new interpretations of historical events
    • new ideas or perspectives based on established research findings

    Many of the books published by professional bodies do not report original research findings but report the results of evaluations, or repackage existing information for the benefit of professionals and practitioners. Only those books which report original research can be considered for inclusion. You may supply a supporting statement on the appeal form if you feel the book or chapter meets the above criteria.