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A1 - Books

To be included in this category the publication must meet the definition of research and:

  • must be a major work of scholarship
  • must be offered for sale
    • for hard copies, bound
    • for CD-ROMs, packaged
  • must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  • must be written entirely by a single author, or by joint authors who share responsibility for the whole book
  • must have been published by a commercial publisher
  • the author must be affiliated with the claiming Higher Education Provider (HEP)
  • E-books are now eligible. If not published by a commercial publisher, the e-book must have peer review evidence

Note:Many of the books published by professional bodies do not report original research findings but report the results of evaluations, or compile existing information for the benefit of professionals or practitioners. It is important that HEPs assess these publications very carefully against the definition of research provided and only count those publications which are major works of scholarship and report original research activities for the first time. Freely available research-related reports published by external institutes or public agencies and departments are also unlikely to meet these criteria.

The types of books that may meet the criteria include: critical scholarly texts (e.g. music, medieval or classical texts), new interpretations of historical events and new ideas or perspectives based on established research findings.

The types of books that do not meet the criteria include: textbooks, anthologies, edited books, creative works such as novels, translations and revisions or new editions and theses. Also unlikely to meet the criteria are books published by print–on–demand publishers that do not engage in editing/proofreading/peer review (such as VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Intech and Lambert Academic Publishing).

Documentation Required for Verification

  • Copy of the contents, preface/acknowledgement and introduction pages and other pages containing the following bibliographic information:
    • ISBN
    • Title
    • Author(s)
    • Publisher
    • All dates referring to copyright, publication, printing, distribution (Further evidence may be required if the above extracts do not demonstrate classification.)
  • Evidence indicating research undertaken in author's capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP
  • Evidence of the year of publication

Commercial Publisher

For the purposes of the HERDC specifications, a commercial publisher is an entity for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale.

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.

For the purposes of these specifications, HEP and other self-supporting HEP presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its printing.