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Not a full picture. Missing puzzle pieces via tadamichi/Shutterstock

Game-playing of the REF makes it an incomplete census

Research assessment is only partly reliable as an indicator of the real quality of the work going on in higher education. It has a dual character. On one hand it is rooted in material facts and objective…
A little bit of impact goes a long way. Chones

The impact of impact on the REF

For the first time, the “impact” of academic research on the wider world has been included in a large-scale assessment of the quality of university research, which has just been published. One-fifth of…
Who owns the university after the crash? simononly

After the crash, who owns the British university in 2014?

By international standards, British universities have extraordinarily high levels of autonomy. They control all of their assets, they employ their own staff, renew their own leadership and governors and…
Research is a public good in itself, not only for the benefit of creating jobs and economic prosperity. Flickr/International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

The benefits of research aren’t just economic

Forcing research and innovation to fit corporate needs exclusively sounds like a pretty blunt way to govern how public funds are awarded and used in universities. Granted, in a political environment touting…
Perhaps the best way to measure research impact is a judicious mix-and-match approach. eepingtime_ca/Flickr

Getting the mix right for assessing research impact

Outside professional sport, few industries measure the performance of their workforces more intensively than academia. There’s particular scrutiny on how much difference academic research has made to the…
The public needs to be convinced its money is being spent wisely. TEDxBrainport

Scientists need to prove their research is worth it

Plato said true philosophers are “those who love to see the truth” – a desire to seek and expose fundamental knowledge. For most scientists, the search for truth, otherwise known as fundamental or basic…
Measuring the impact of research in the real world sounds a bit impossible, but Australia is going to do it anyway. Research image from www.shutterstock.com

Research meets the real world – now comes the hard part

So you’re just recovering from the last ERA (Excellence for Research Australia) assessment? Dust yourself off, Excellence in Innovation for Australia (EIA) is heading our way. This is the new paradigm…
Scientists are using Twitter to charge up their impact. nicolasjon

It’s time for scientists to tweet

Social media is no longer a new thing. But to scientists it still might be. There are few who are starting to take advantage of social media for professional reasons. What can other scientists learn from…
A new report shows that medical research in Australia is world-leading. Medical research image from www.shutterstock.com

ERA results: medical research is Australia’s best

Australia’s medical and health sciences are leading the country in research quality, according to the Excellence in Research…
Calculating the economic impact of research has proved a challenging task for universities. Leo Reynolds

Universities close in on research impact measures

The impact of university research can and should be measured, says Australian Technology Network executive director Vicki…
The social, economic and environmental impact of academic research can continue for decades. Flickr/Sanofi Pasteur

Universities to explain benefit of research to ‘end users’

Academics from a dozen universities will be required to explain to industry experts the economic and social value of hundreds…
The University of Melbourne will oversee a new effort to measure the returns on science investments. Flickr/Geoff Penaluna

Top Australian unis to test new science metrics system

The University of Melbourne and Australian National University will perform a “stocktake” of all scientific research projects…
Do we need new vocabulary for measuring the “engagement”, “use”, “relevance” and “appropriateness” of research? spettacolopuro

The ‘impact’ of research carries weight (but ripples matter more)

What has been the impact of the invention of the telescope? What has been the impact of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, or the splitting of the atom? Yes, that’s right: the idea of measuring the…
The old system led to institutions urging their academics to write for the top-ranked academic journals only. Håkan Dahlström, Flickr

Journal rankings ditched: the experts respond

The Australian government has dropped the contentious system of ranking academic journals and assessing academics based on…
The university funding system discourages research on volunteers like these men who are risking their lives to help their community. Flickr/Rob Down Under

In universities obsessed with research here’s what falls between the cracks

In Australian universities at the moment research is everything. They obsess over the rankings in the new ERA system which measures research performance. For academics publishing in the top journals isn’t…

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