Changes to the ERA guidelines from 2012 now mean that NVETR-funded research reports may be counted as an ‘eligible book’ (the guidelines around commercial publishing are not as strict) or another ‘non-traditional research output’ in ERA submissions. This is so long as the report meets other criteria around research and peer review, which is generally the case.
Researchers producing reports under the NVETR program can advise their University Research Office that NCVER publications may be counted in ERA submissions. This does not mean that all such publications are automatically eligible and each institution still needs to consider whether the publications meet all the necessary criteria on a case by case basis. The requirements are set out in the ERA guidelines: http://www.arc.gov.au/excellence-research-australia.
The options to count NCVER publications
Books – Authored Research
NCVER publications may be counted because the Australian Research Council (ARC) recognises that there are cases where a book has only been made available online, and has not been published by a commercial publisher and/or offered for sale. In these cases, the institution can only report the book if it has been through an acceptable peer review process [NCVER peer review process meets this criteria] and otherwise meets the relevant eligibility criteria, including meeting the definition of research.
Non-traditional research output
The ARC has advised that there are some disciplines in which non-traditional research outputs may be submitted and some NCVER publications may be eligible for submission as a non-traditional research output. Additional output types may now be submitted under the non-traditional research output category of 'Original Creative Works' (sub-category 'Other') provided they meet relevant eligibility criteria, including the ERA definition of research. The criteria for these output types differ in a number of respects to the criteria for books-for example, a commercial publisher is not required. These additional output types include some works that do not fit other research output types, such as scholarly translations and public policy reports.