[csaa-forum] In praise of editing & HERDC/ERA criteria

Jonathan Stratton J.Stratton at curtin.edu.au
Thu Mar 3 13:59:53 CST 2011

  Hi Gerard,
     Thanks for this.
    But, if I may, can I reiterate my original query.  This concerned edited book collections.  In HERDC and ERA edited collections, that is to say, books edited by one or more people, are not treated as research.  Thus, if any of us has edited, or coedited, a book, that book is not eligible to be counted in HERDC or ERA.  The huge amount of work that goes into editing a collection is lost in the HERDC/ERA research capturing exercise.  However, and this is very important, chapters that a person publishes in an edited collection *do* count.  What this means is that, in terms of official recognition, including government research funding, you would be crazy to edit a collection but, you would be very sensible to agree to publish a chapter in a collection that some crazy person is editing.  Does this make sense?  No.  
     Now, many of you may work in unis where you have little to do with your R&D area and where, at the practical level of workload, an edited book is counted as research.  This may not continue.  At Curtin, and possibly at other universities around Australia, R&D has aligned their classification of research with HERDC/ERA.  This is because Curtin is trying to increase its research profile in the government's terms.  This is because this closely relates to university funding.  Thus, at Curtin, you get no acknowledgement from R&D if you edit a book.  However, if you publish a chapter in an edited collection, you are acknowledged for this.  My original question was, how are other universities dealing with this problem?  And, relatedly, how are we, who edit books and publish in edited collections, dealing with this problem?
     My subsidiary point is that there needs to be pressure brought on the people who administrate HERDC/ERA to include edited collections in their description of research.  This, I would suggest, is best done at university level, probably by universities' R&D areas.   
with best wishes,


From: csaa-forum-bounces at lists.cdu.edu.au on behalf of Gerard Goggin
Sent: Thu 3/3/2011 12:08 PM
To: CSAA Forum
Subject: [csaa-forum] In praise of editing & HERDC/ERA criteria

Hi Mark, Anna, Jon, and others

As a former/reformed journal editor, I can't resist adding 'hear, hear' to the points you've made.

Hard to see what the answers are - or rather pat formula - to provide to institutions (though it is recognized to some extent in some workload systems). 

The paradox is plain: editorial work, reviewing, curating, and translation that journals and collections involve is critical to how research is defined and evaluated; but it remains remarkably invisible to reward systems (even if it garners esteem).

Still lots of fun, though - as well as intellectually and culturally significant.


Gerard Goggin

On 3/03/11 1:41 PM, "Mark Gibson" <mark.gibson at monash.edu> wrote:

	Thanks again Anna. One section particularly caught my eye:
	"Some CELJ editors report that it is increasingly difficult to locate appropriate readers for peer review, in some measure because our academic culture does not reward scholars for so doing. Junior scholars report that their administrative heads advise them not to undertake peer reviews or even book reviews except for the most prestigious journals. Such work is considered 'mere service' and (often like journal editing) erased as a significant part of one's professional research or teaching."
	So it's not just HERDC and ERA. It's emerging as an issue in North America too.
	On 3/03/11 1:08 PM, "Anna Poletti (Arts)" <anna.poletti at monash.edu> wrote:

		Just as a follow up to yesterday's discussion, here is comment from then president of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals on journal rankings made in 2009
		Best wishes


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