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|Title:||Excellence in research for Australia and sustainable data|
|Publisher:||Custom Book Centre|
|Citation:||Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship. Proceedings of the conference held at the University of Melbourne, 12-14th December 2011|
|Abstract:||We are now entering the second round of assessment under the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) model. A number of writers have drawn attention to the problems inherent in this model for the humanities and social sciences (Cooper and Poletti 2011, Dobson 2011, Genoni and Haddow 2009) but what has not received attention (as far as we are aware) is the impact this model is likely to have on the type of work being highlighted and encouraged in this meeting. ERA relies to a large extent on journal rankings and as a result of its first iteration, many academics are experiencing pressure to direct their publications to highly-ranked journals. We suggest that this pressure is already disadvantageous to innovative work utilising digital data. Prestigious journals are, by their nature, conservative institutions and, at least in the humanities, are unlikely to encourage new models for disseminating results. Whilst journals such as Science and Nature routinely host supporting materials for papers on their websites, such practices are uncommon in the humanities. We are aware of a single journal in our field (Language Documentation and Conservation) which is highly ranked in the ERA process (it has an A ranking) and also encourages such publication. New journals which are published online and other alternative modes of disseminating scholarly work will inevitably have to wait some time to achieve any recognition on the ranking lists; indeed as the lists aim to maintain a proportion of journals at each level, it will be very hard for new publications to achieve a high ranking as that must be at the expense of an established publication. Thus the ERA model will tend to discourage innovative modes of publication. Additionally, the model gives no recognition to the idea which underlies much of the work presented in this forum, that making data widely available to colleagues is an inherently worthy activity. The experience of the British assessment exercise on which ERA is based was that researchers were placed under considerable pressure to ensure that their limited research time was geared to producing outputs which would be visible and valuable for assessment. Producing, curating and sharing sustainable data are activities which will struggle to meet these criteria.|
|Rights and Permissions:||This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.|
|Type of Work:||Conference paper|
|Appears in Collections:||Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship|
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