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Eligible Research, Author Affiliation and Year of Publication

Definition of Research

For the purposes of the HERDC Specifications, research publications are books, book chapters, journal articles and/or conference publications which meet the definition of research. These publications are characterised by:

  • 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 (i.e. not a compilation of existing works)
  • veracity/validity through a peer validation process or by satisfying the commercial publisher processes
  • increasing the stock of knowledge
  • being in a form that enables dissemination of knowledge

Note: Scholarly editions and scholarly translations must have a major demonstrable original research component in the edition or translation to be considered for inclusion in a HEP's research publications return.

Author Affiliation

The author of the research publication being counted for HERDC must be affiliated with the claiming HEP and must be identified either within or on the work being claimed.

Where author affiliation with the claiming HEP is not identified within a work, the following evidence retained in verification material would be sufficient to demonstrate author affiliation and should include:

  • a statement from the author indicating that he or she undertook the research leading to the publication in his or her capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP and either
    • a statement from the Director of Human Resources or Dean of Students (or equivalent) indicating that the author was an appointee or student of the HEP in the relevant year (or earlier if that was when the research leading to the publication was conducted) or
    • an extract from the HEP's staff or student list that lists the author

Students (domestic or international) are considered to be those students undertaking HDR training to achieve a Research Doctorate (including Professional Doctorates) or a Research Masters.

Where a publication shows that an author has affiliation to more than one HEP (e.g. Janet Harvey, Tutor in Economics, HEP X; PhD student, HEP Y), each Australian HEP named in that by-line can each count the publication for HERDC.

Adjunct fellows, honorary staff members and staff on leave are considered affiliated with a HEP if the HEP is identified in the by-line.

Year of Publication

The fundamental principles that underpin the publications data are:

  • The publication is claimed in the appropriate year.
  • The year of publication must be verifiable.
  • The publication is claimed once only.

To be able to count publications in the 2013 HERDC submission:

  • The research must have been published in the 2012 calendar year, and
  • 2012 must be stated as the year of publication within or on the work being claimed.

The definition of published in this context is the date the publication was released to its intended audience. Letters from authors, editors etc stating that a research publication was published in 2012, even though 2012 is not stated within or on the work as the year of publication, are not acceptable evidence of the year of publication. There are two exceptions:

  • For journal articles and/or conference publications that are produced on CD-ROM or are web-based, and do not contain a date published within or on the work being claimed, a letter from a journal editor or conference organiser verifying the published date may be accepted.
  • The date a conference was held may be acceptable evidence of the year of publication.

'Advance' or 'in press online' publications-


It is necessary to check with your Faculty or Department if these publications are eligible for the HERDC submission.


The year of publication is usually the latest of the year indicated as published, printed or the year of copyright. However, there may be exceptions. For example, a publication with a 2011 copyright date may be reported in the 2010 collection if it has a publication date of 2010, and it is not counted again in the 2011 collection. Pages showing the stated year of publication must be included in verification material.


Expanded year of publication definition


Higher Education Providers must be able to demonstrate (in the verification material that they maintain) that the publication was not produced until after the submission date for that year's publication return. For example, they can show that a publication, although containing a 2011 publication date, was not published until after 30 June 2012. A letter from the publisher will be considered sufficient verification material to support the claim. Only those meeting these criteria would be able to claim for 2013 HERDC submission.