Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

What is ERA?


The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative is an evaluation of research quality in Universities by the Australian government. It is administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Assessments have been conducted in 2015, 2012 and 2010. Preparations are now under way for ERA 2018.

The methodology divides research into fields using the ABS FoR Codes at two levels - 157 4 digit FoR codes and 22 2 digit FoR codes.

The ERA assessment covers 6 years of research and principally judges the quality of publications.


The Objectives of ERA are to:

  1. Establish an evaluation framework that gives government, industry, business and the wider community assurance of the excellence of research conducted in Australia's higher education institutions.
  2. Provide a national stock take of discipline-level areas of research strength and areas where there is opportunity for development in Australia's higher education institutions.
  3. Identify excellence across the full spectrum of research performance.
  4. Identify emerging research areas and opportunities for further development.
  5. Allow for comparisons of Australia's research nationally and internationally for all discipline areas.

ERA assesses research at the discipline level and uses the ABS Field of Research (FoR) Codes at the 4-digit level to categorise research. Data submitted at the 4-digit level will also be rolled up and assessed at the 2-digit level for a broader assessment.


Reference Periods

Submission data for ERA 2018 will be collected for the following reference periods:

  • Research Outputs: 1 January 2011 – 31 December 2016 (6 years)
  • Research Income: 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016 (3 years)
  • Applied Measures: 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2016 (3 years)