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Measuring Research Quality and Impact - Research Guide

University Impact

Australian Rankings

ERA is the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative. It was developed by the Australian Research Council (ARC). It aims to assess, identify and promote excellence across research activity in Australia's higher education institutions.

ERA assessment is conducted using a Field of Research (FoR) hierarchical classification with three levels - Divisions (2 digits), Groups (4 digits) and Fields (6 digits). Each level is identified by a unique number. Universities allocate their research output into this hierarchy. Each Field of Research is assessed using either citations or peer-review, as appropriate to that particular field. Assessment is on a range of indicators, not just publications.

In the ERA ranking process, each FoR is evaluated against world standard research in that field. The ranking scale is 5 (well above world standard) through to 1 (well below world standard). A rating of 3 indicates research conducted is at a world standard. Rankings occur at a 2- and 4-digit FoR level.

Australian Universities - Provides Australian university rankings (2004 - current)

International Rankings


Benchmarking allows you to determine whether the publications of a country, university, school or department, research group or individual are actually well cited by comparing the citations the relevant publications have received with publications of a similar age AND in the same subject area or in the same journal.

It is necessary to benchmark research performance within the context of same subject areas because publication rates and citation behavior can vary considerably from discipline to discipline, document type and over time. Research performance can be compared at various levels - individual, institutional, national and international.

The following tool can be used to benchmark the research of Murdoch University, and Murdoch research groups and researchers:

SciVal is a research evaluation tool that allows users to analyse institutional productivity and benchmark output against peers worldwide.

As part of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative, the research output of universities, as reported to ERA, may also be benchmarked using a metric called the Relative Citation Index (RCI). The RCI allows for the research publications of individual universities to be compared to Australian and international standards. This metric is only available to participating institutions and their research offices. More information about the RCI can be found in the Australian Research Council ERA Evaluation Handbook.