The Impact of Journal Ranking Fetishism on Australian Policy-related Research: A Case Study
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In Australia, the Excellence in Research (ERA) exercise, first conducted in 2008 and continuing relatively unchanged in 2012, determines the level of research funding made available to Australian universities (Cooper and Poletti 2011). However the use of rankings is argued to be problematic. Through a survey of academics in a field of policy-relevant research - employment and industrial relations - this paper analyses the impact on their discipline and working environments of the journal rankings ERA processes. Overall, we can conclude that the ERA journal ranking system is strongly and negatively affecting the field and could lead to the diminution of the number of Australian journals and researchers, and the amount of Australian research, in this field. Such consequences would likely be harmful for social progress in Australia.
Australian Universities' Review
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Research, Science and Technology Policy