Below are the topic areas of questions frequently asked in relation to the HERDC, QUT Research and QUT Scholarly Publication Collections. Please click on the links below to find out more...and stay tuned as we'll be extending these over the coming year!
If there are particular questions you'd like answered or you need further clarification on anything listed below please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Authors and QUT affiliation
What do I do if the publication does not list the author as affiliated with QUT but the publication resulted in research they conducted in the QUT capacity?
If the publication does not list QUT, but is the result of research undertaken in a QUT staff member or higher degree research (HDR) student capacity, QUT can still claim the publication if the author completes and signs a Statement of QUT Affiliation. If the staff member/HDR student has since left QUT, or cannot be contacted to sign this form, the HOS can complete it on his/her behalf. The signed form must be included in the verification material sent to the Office of Research.
Adjunct Professors need to be by-lined to be considered as an QUT affiliated author.
Can I include publications from authors who were visitors to QUT?
QUT can claim the publication if the author certifies that the publication is the result of research they undertook while a visitor to QUT. To do this they must complete and sign a Statement of QUT Affiliation. The signed form must be included in the verification material sent to the Office of Research.
Why can't I find my QUT author on RM?
If you've searched RM but can't locate a particular person please first check that the 'Display only current records' box is not ticked when you're trying to add the author. Please ensure you do not use any records for internal personnel where the person code starts with an 'R' (eg. R3034330) or where the record does not include a staff ID (this should appear in the 'Contributor Code' field). If you still can't find the QUT staff member or student please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will enter them onto the system for you.
What is the definition of a commercial publisher?
The definition of a commercial publisher can be found in the HERDC Specifications. Please note that individual specifications are released for each year's Collection, however the changes in publications submission each year are minimal. Read the HERDC definition.
How can I demonstrate that a company meets the definition of a commercial publisher?
Firstly, check Register of Commercial Publishers (please note that this register is no longer maintained and so is not a comprehensive list of all acceptable publishers). If the publisher isn't listed, search for them on the web to see if there is publicly available evidence that the publisher meets the HERDC requirements, ie:
- that publishing of books is the sole or main business of the company;
- that the company is responsible for the distribution of books; and
- there is evidence of the ability to purchase books from the publisher or other publication outlet(s).
Otherwise, you can write to the publisher and ask for a statement that their business meets the requirements.
If publishing is not the core business of the organisation but it has a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication, commercial publisher status can be demonstrated through publicly available documentation that:
- publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party
- the publishing arm is responsible for the distribution of books and
- there is an ability to purchase books from the organisation or other publications outlet/s.
What sort of companies may not be considered commercial publishers?
DIISR has stated that the following companies may not be eligible:
- Publishing units within faculties in universities (note the official publishing arm of a university, such as RMIT Press is usually eligible, but the publishing arm within a centre or within a faculty in RMIT, may not be eligible
- Publishing arms of museums or galleries
- Companies that are hired only to print or distribute a book, but bear no responsibility for the editing process or take no risk in choosing to publish or
- Companies that publish books but sub-contract printing and/or distribution thus having no responsibility for the entire publishing process.
In these cases, an organisation may be eligible, but only if it meets the conditions outlined further above.
HERDC Definition of Research (DOR)
Where can I read the HERDC Definition of Research?
All publications submitted to the HERDC must meet its definition of research, as detailed in the HERDC Specifications. Read HERDC definition of research.
Who at QUT checks that a publication meets the DOR?
Each month, the Office of Research will issue a report where a nominated faculty/institute senior academic (in most cases the ADR or Head of School), independent of the author, will check and accept that the definition of research has been met and that the publication should be included in the HERDC collection.
Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
What is a DOI?
A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique and persistent method for identifying the location of content on the web. When listed in a publication (eg. a journal article) they usually take the form: doi:10.nnnn/xxxx....x. For example, the journal article Chemical Discrimination by a Kinetic Model of Organic Photooxidation in a Heterosupramolecular Assembly has a DOI of 10.1016/j.jcis.2006.06.063
Unlike other web addresses, which can change over time, a publication's DOI does not change, even if it is relocated on the web. As such, it's the ideal web address to record in RM.
How do I convert a DOI into a web address?
To convert a DOI into a web address the DOI needs to be prefixed with 'http://dx.doi.org/'. For example, if the publication states the DOI as doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2006.06.063, the web address for the publication is http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2006.06.063.
Why do we now record DOIs in RM?
Including the DOI of an online journal article in RM means that we can save paper as, if the online article can be quickly and easily accessed from RM there's no need to keep a hard copy.
Foreign language publications
Can we include publications written in a foreign language?
Foreign language publications can be included in the HERDC as long as they meet the criteria for the respective category and the verification material is translated into English. It is not necessary to translate the entire publication, but the required verification material must be translated into English. This includes evidence that the work meets the HERDC Definition of Research.
Funded research projects
Why do I need to provide the related research project?
If the research publication is the result of a funded research project and this is recorded in RM this information will enable us to quickly and easily identify project publications and other project outcomes (this can be very handy when it's time to write the project's Final Report). If you are unsure of the related project's RM number please email email@example.com.
How do I know whether my journal article has been refereed?
There are numerous ways to verify that a journal article has been refereed:
- The easiest thing to do is go to Ulrich's Periodical Directory and search for the journal. If Ulrich's states that the journal is refereed (contained in the Basic Description under Refereed it shows Yes), you then simply need to print the page and include it in your verification material. NB. Not all journals listed on Ulrich's are identified as refereed - so it's not enough for it to be listed on Ulrich's. Ulrich's must also identify it as refereed.
- Another option is to search for the journal on the ISI Master Journal List. If the journal is listed on the ISI list we know it's a refereed journal. Simply print out the journal's record on ISI and include it in your verification material.
- Also check the journal - sometimes there's a statement within it confirming that it's a peer review journal
- You can also provide a copy of the referees comments to the author
- ERA Journal List
What do I do if the same publication was published in more than one category?
QUT can only include each publication once within the HERDC, even if that publication was also published in a different year and/or in a different format. For example, if a conference paper is published in conference proceedings and is subsequently included as a chapter in a book, it can only be counted as a chapter OR as a conference paper, not both. You can still register both publications within RM, however only one can be included as a HERDC category; the other must be entered within the QUT Scholarly Publication Collection.
What if the second publication is similar but contains more information?
QUT can only include the second publication as a HERDC category if it is sufficiently different from the first - that is, the second publication must report a significant amount of new research.
Fields of Research (FOR) codes
What are FOR codes?
FOR is a classification system designed primarily to meet the needs of the ABS and the DIISR. FOR codes allow a publication or project to be classified according to the field of research. They are required for our reporting to ABS, for ARC and NHMRC applications and for ERA. The classification of our publications and projects is also important for tracking research activity. View a list of FOR codes.
Do I need to record FOR codes against my publication?
Yes. At least one FOR code needs to be recorded against all publications. If more than one FOR code is applicable to the publication, each code should be assigned a percentage depending on how relevant it is to the research leading to the publication. In addition, one of the selected codes must be deemed the primary code. The sum of the percentages must equal 100%. View a list of FOR codes.
How specific do I need to be when choosing FOR code(s)?
To ensure consistent and successful classification, publications (and projects) should be classified to field of research at the most detailed level. To do this, it is important to first determine the division in which the research was performed, then the most relevant discipline within that division and then the most relevant subject within that division. It is vital to firstly identify the higher level classifications as some subjects, although within different disciplines, have identical titles. View a list of FOR codes.
Why do we need to provide the verification information?
The Office of Research's Research Data and Platform (RDP) team must ensure that each publication QUT includes in the HERDC meets the specifications for that year. If any of the information we report to the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) is incorrect, QUT can be penalised. QUT can be subject to audit by DIISR at anytime so we must have all this information on hand and ready to provide to auditors at short notice. Read the HERDC Specifications.
Do you always need a full copy of the publication?
You do not need to provide a full copy of books (for obvious reasons!) but you do need to include a full copy conference papers and book chapters as part of the verification materials for these categories. For books we just need a copy of the preface and/or introduction and/or the first chapter (if there is no preface or introduction). For these publications, you must also provide copies of the bibliographic details, including proof of publication year and confirmation that the publication meets the HERDC definition of research.
For journal articles published online you simply need to provide the web address of the full journal article (ideally the article's digital object identifier or DOI). If the journal article is not published online you will instead need to provide a full copy of the article as part of the verification material. You will also need to provide a copy of the proof of peer review.
What if I can't find all the required verification material?
Verification material can sometimes be very hard to find! This is especially true for conference papers and publications by authors that have left QUT. That's why it's important to start collecting it as soon as you can! There are lots of ways you can source the required material - directly from the author, via a web search (eg. search using the publication title, or part of it, the author, the parent publication, the conference or journal name etc). And don't forget to check QUT's Library as they often have either the physical publication or details of how to easily access it online. The QUT Library also offers a document delivery service, which means that if they don't hold the publication themselves, they'll source it for you from a library that does.
How should I organise the materials?
All verification material should be compiled into a PDF and uploaded to QUT ePrints at the same time the publication is deposited into QUT ePrints - there is a drop down in the item types for HERDC Evidence. For more information on how to deposit in QUT ePrints contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If for some reason the evidence cannot be supplied at the time of the original ePrints deposit, it needs to be emailed to the Office of Research at email@example.com - we will put it against the ePrints record (please send to us so we can assess it).
Do I have to collect verification materials for non-HERDC categories?
These materials should be submitted as aforementioned. Please note that our priority is HERDC and ERA works, however we will verify non-HERDC/ERA publications so that a researcher's profile is complete. Researchers are encouraged to check their RAD profile to ensure each publication is listed. Please note that RAD is updated overnight, so any changes to your publication will be reflected the day after they are made in ResearchMaster.
Year of publication
If my article is published online in 2012, but will also be published in hardcopy at a later (as yet undefined) date, can I include it in this year's collection?
DIISR has allowed journal articles published online in 2012 to be included in the current Collection so if you have evidence stating that your publication was published in 2012 please submit it to the Collection.
What if a journal article was published in 2011, but was not available until 2012?
According to the HERDC specifications the year of publication is normally the latest of the year indicated as published, printed or the year of copyright. For example, journal articles often have a copyright year and a year for the issue. If the copyright date is 2011, but the issue year is 2012, then the article can be counted in the current collection, as long as it was not included in last year's collection.
What do I do if I find a publication which should have been included in a previous year's collection, but wasn't?
Unfortunately, we cannot adjust HERDC data retrospectively, so nothing can be done. It is important to make sure you locate as many publications as possible during the collection period to maximise QUT's score. You can, however, still enter the publication in the QUT Scholarly Collection.
Why do we capture the year the publication became available online?
DIISR allows us to include publications that are available to the general public - even if they have not yet been printed. This can be the case for journal articles, as it has become common for journals to publish articles (that are destined for print) online in the first instance. As such, journal articles may have two years associated with them - the available year and the published year. For most these two years are the same, however they can sometimes differ, such as an article that became available online in 2011 and was then published in the printed journal in 2012 (see an example). If they do differ, it is important to capture both years.
Do we need to provide this for all publications?
No. Currently this is only collected for C1 - Journal Articles, and only if the article's available year and published year differ. See an example.
How is this information captured in RM?
The Office of Research enters the available year into a significant date called 'Available Year'. The significant date's Completions Details tab contains the year the article became available online. The printed year continues to be captured in the publication's Core Details screen (so that the bibliographic details captured there align, ie. year, volume, issue, page numbers etc). The Available Year significant date will remain active until the print bibliographic details are available and have been entered in RM.
Can a publication be counted in the HERDC for both its available year and published year?
No. A publication available online one year and published the next can be counted in either year, not both.