Submission to: Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

11 May 2011

Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure Discussion Paper

ASSA takes this opportunity to respond to issues raised in chapter two of the 2011 SRARI Discussion Paper, noting that these issues have broader implications for the needs of Australian social sciences for strategic investment in productive research infrastructure. In particular, ASSA draws attention to responses to questions 2.B.1 and 2.E.1.

The first of these responses highlights the need for investment in collating and making accessible those data sources, including administrative and other forms, which are the essential underpinning of sound social sciences research.

ASSA acknowledges that assessment of research outcomes is a valuable and essential feature of the conduct of publicly funded research in Australia and supports this assessment, understanding that such exercises are necessary retrospective. The response at 2.E.1 highlights the need to ensure that regimes to measure the quality of Australian research output—including in particular that represented by the Excellence in Research Australia assessments—do not, through their retrospectivity, through their focus on established disciplinary alignments, or through their privileging of international over domestic esteem (or vice versa), result in assessments which undermine investment in research infrastructure that has been previously agreed upon as of strategic value for Australia.

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For more information, please contact:
Mr Murray Radcliffe
Deputy Director
murray.radcliffe [at] assa.edu.au
+61 .2 62491788