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Assessing political science quality: 'excellence in research for Australia'


Kellow, A, Assessing political science quality: 'excellence in research for Australia', European Political Science, 11, (4) pp. 567-580. ISSN 1680-4333 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 European Consortium for Political Research

DOI: doi:10.1057/eps.2011.70


The results from the first foray into the research quality in Australia, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), were released in 2011. This article critically assesses the methodology of ERA and its application to the discipline of political science. It uses two other assessments of research quality in the discipline to confirm that the results for political science provide a credible result, as the rank order of departments is broadly compatible with these earlier exercises. The article then shows how the overall assessments for disciplines reflect the methodology employed, and that the average score for the discipline does not provide a credible benchmark against political science globally. While research funding decisions within disciplines are likely to be made according to within-discipline ranks, the use of descriptors relating the numerical score to ‘world class’ have undervalued the quality of the discipline relative to other disciplines and this risks affecting the perceptions of policymakers and impacting funding for the discipline as a whole.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:research quality; political science; Australia; excellence in research for Australia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Political science not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Kellow, A (Professor Aynsley Kellow)
ID Code:83015
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2013-02-27
Last Modified:2018-04-10

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