View Document

Measuring Individual Research Activity - Creative Works as Research Guideline

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The purpose of these Guidelines is to establish meaningful criteria by which to identify and acknowledge quality research productivity and activity represented by works in different fields of creative endeavour.

(2) These Guidelines support the Measuring Individual Research Activity Policy.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope / Application

(3) These Guidelines apply to all academic staff across the University who wish to have creative works they have produced identified as research outputs.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Definitions

(4) Nil

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy Statement

(5) Nil

Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedures

(6) Nil

Top of Page

Section 6 - Guidelines

Introduction

(7) Victoria University measures the individual research activity of academic staff. This measure, known as the Measure of Research Activity (MORA), uses established and verifiable research metrics including creative arts research outputs.

(8) Research in creative fields is not merely a collection of creative works produced. Work submitted for inclusion in the Creative Works as Research Collection must meet the definition of research. In the context of creative works, research is defined as the creation of new knowledge or the use of existing knowledge in new and creative ways so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.

(9) Key factors are:

  1. Creation of new knowledge; and
  2. Impact of the work on the discipline.

(10) The research points assigned to measure creative arts outputs are detailed in these guidelines and are used in the calculation of an individual's MORA. Creative outputs are awarded research points in the same manner that points are awarded for other research outputs. Each creative arts research output attracts base value points for MORA, with additional weightings given to work of demonstrated high quality. Points are distributed in equal proportions among the creators.

(11) The VU Creative Works as Research Collection comprises research outputs in any form of publicly available, accessible materials, typically including works that have been produced through writing, making, composing, designing, recording, performing or curating.

Importance of the Creative Works as Research Collection

(12) Creative Works as Research are a key element of Victoria University's standing as a research institution active in the creative arts. These creative works demonstrate that staff and students at VU are leaders in creative practice, and dynamically shaping new ground within their fields of practice.

(13) The Creative Works as Research Collection retains information about creative works of research significance across VU. It directly recognises, and enables the rewarding of, creative practitioners at VU engaged in research. The Creative Works as Research Collection provides an opportunity to identify emerging research areas and opportunities for further development.

(14) The Creative Works as Research Collection documents the University's creative research outputs and is included in:

  1. Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) submissions, which is the assessment of research quality at Australian Universities. These guidelines have been designed to align with the 2015 submission guidelines.
  2. The VU Measure of Research Activity (MORA), which is used to help determine individual workload allocations for academic staff at VU. Creative outputs are awarded research points in the same manner that points are awarded for traditional research outputs.
  3. The portfolio requirements for the Higher Education Academic promotions. Works assessed and verified through the creative works as research collection will form part of the official university record of individual achievement and will serve to substantiate claims made through the promotions portfolio.
  4. Creative arts research is an objective of VU's Special Studies Program. Works assessed and verified through the creative works as research collection are valuable outcomes of successful SSP projects. They also serve to verify the research track records of individual staff who apply for SSP.

(15) VU's annual collection of research-related creative outputs is managed through the Office for Research.

Submissions to the Creative Works as Research Collection

(16) In accordance with these guidelines, academic staff members are invited to submit details and supporting evidence of their activity produced in the previous calendar year in their capacity as a member of VU staff. Each individual submission requires:

  1. Creating a record of the Creative work in VU Elements.
  2. Completion of an appropriate Application Form
  3. A Research Statement (which may be incorporated in the Application Form) explaining the basis for the submission in plain language.
    The Research Statement may contains up to 250 words in total. It makes a succinct case for the work's contribution, its scale, and its quality (in terms of both importance and esteem). These key criteria are explained below. A template for the statement is included as Appendix A to these guidelines.
  4. Evidence to support output - such as copies of documentation to verify publication through an acceptable outlet, and to verify any claims for quality (international importance and/or esteem, as relevant). For indications of evidence required refer to table at clause (25).

(17) Research Contribution

  1. To be eligible for inclusion, an item must contribute to research in one or more of the following ways:
    1. An advancement or extension of knowledge;
    2. An initiation of major scholarly or artistic debate, dialogue or discourse;
    3. A set of new discoveries, innovative ideas, techniques, technologies;
    4. A solution to problems;
    5. A conceptual advance;
    6. A refinement/reinterpretation of methods, techniques, existing knowledge;
    7. Constructive critiques and synthesis;
    8. New means of dissemination, new or innovative products, concepts or prototypes of importance exhibited for the first time in recognised exhibition arenas; or
    9. New work or demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of existing work.

(18) Research Scale

  1. Each creative work submitted under this scheme will belong to one of three classifications of scale:
    1. Major works (each worth a basic allocation of 2.5 points).
      To be designated by placing '-1' after the creative works category code e.g. COV-1.
    2. Substantial works (each worth a basic allocation of 1 point).
      To be designated by '-2' after the creative works category code e.g. COV-2.
    3. Minor works (each worth a basic allocation of 0.2 points).
      To be designated by '-3' after the creative works category code e.g. COV-3.
  2. For further definitions of the above categories, see clause (24).
  3. The measures for each of these scale classifications vary from one creative discipline to another. It is considered the responsibility of the researcher, as expert in their field, to appropriately substantiate the claim of the scale of the research output via the evidence provided. Please see attached table at clause (25) for further information.

(19) Research Quality

  1. In recognition of the importance placed on the quality of research outputs, the following factors will be applied to individual submissions, where there is clear evidence that the criteria have been met:
    1. Work of international importance
      Where there is evidence that a particular submission has had impact at an international level, such as being published by a recognised international publisher, the base points will be multiplied by a factor of 2.0. Typically, internationally important creative work implies a creation published or released in a forum of international prominence. To claim this status, the author(s) must submit clear evidence that their work has been published in such an outlet. Evidence of shortlisting for an internationally recognised award shall count as equivalent evidence under this category. For some creative fields (e.g. on topics of national concern) a publishing outlet with primarily national reach may be the most internationally important vehicle for a given creative work. In such cases, the author(s) should submit independent evidence to verify that the publishing outlet is of international importance for works in that field.
    2. Work of high esteem
      Where there is evidence that a particular submission has been the subject of rigorous peer review before being selected for publication, or afterwards (in a recognised competitive award process), the base points will be multiplied by a factor of 2.0. Rigorous peer review normally implies that fellow-practitioners independently accredited the creative work as of high quality through a formal (documented) process, either in the process of approving it for publication or by shortlisting it for a significant award or honour. Usually, meeting this criterion requires either (documented) evidence of independent peer review, commissioning or invitation or documented evidence of a nationally or internationally recognised award or shortlisting where the award is highly prestigious. Alternatively the researcher could be the recipient of an Australia Council Grant or Australia Council Fellowship or the researcher is the recipient of an internationally or nationally competitive research grant or commissioned funding for the research output claimed.

(20) Note: these two weighting factors can be applied sequentially to any given work submitted, meaning it is possible to compound the multipliers. A table setting out the basic allocations and multipliers is included in Appendix B to this Guideline.

VU Creative Works as Research Categories

(21) This table lists the categories of the VU Creative Works as Research Collection, the relevant code (including designation of scale e.g. Major, Substantial or Minor) and description for each category. To be eligible, research outputs must have been made available publicly during the reference period.
Multiple exhibitions/performances of non-traditional research output types may be counted as separate outputs where each subsequent exhibition/performance introduces a new research component to the work that builds upon the initial research component of the output.
Multiple exhibition/performances of these research output types cannot be submitted as multiple outputs where the repeated exhibitions/performance do not introduce a new research component to the work. For example, a touring exhibition can only be submitted as a single output.

Original Creative Works
Original Creative Works typically include visual art, design/architectural and textual works. These works are eligible for inclusion only where the relevant researcher is the creator of the creative work rather than, for example, the curator of an exhibition of creative works produced by others. The exhibition of an original creative work can be used to demonstrate that the work has been made publically available, but each instance of such a research output can only be claimed once. Exhibited creative works can be submitted as either; a single item exhibited as an individual creative work (equal to one research output); or a portfolio of works exhibited as a cohesive/thematic collection of the work of a single creator (also equal to one research output).
CWC Category Code Description
Visual Art Work COV (1-3) Research output such as a fine arts and crafts works, diagram, map, photographic image, sculpture or installation.
Design/Architectural Work COD (1-3) Realised, constructed, fabricated or unrealised building and design project. 'Unrealised' projects must have an output that provides evidence of the research involved.
Textual Work COT (1-3) Written creative work that is not eligible to be submitted as a book or journal article in the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), such as a novel or art review. Scholarly editions, scholarly translations, exhibition catalogues, catalogue entries, notated musical work and published scores may be submitted in this sub-category.
Other COO (1-3) Other original creative works that are not Live Performances of Creative Works, Recorded/Rendered Creative Works, Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events.
Live Performance of Creative Works
Live Performance is the public performance of music, play or dance. Supporting documentation must be made available. Documentation may be in the form of a recording of the performance, reviews, performance programs or other material considered useful to the peer review process.
CWC Category Code Description
Music CLM (1-3) New work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.
Play CLP (1-3) New work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.
Dance CLD (1-3) New work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretation or production of an existing work.
Other CLO (1-3) Other new work or a demonstrably new or innovative interpretations or production of an existing work.
Recorded/Rendered Creative Works
Recorded/rendered Creative Works typically includes audio/visual recordings, performances, inter-arts and digital creative works. The research component is contained within the recording/rendering. Simple documentations of live performances of creative works without a research component are not eligible to be submitted as this research output type, but may be submitted as supporting material under Live Performance of Creative Works provided the research requirements are satisfied.
CWC Category Code Description
Audio and/or Visual Recording CRF (1-3) Research outputs presented in an audio and/or visual format, eg films, documentaries or audio-visual presentations.
Performance CRP (1-3) Performances (in music, dance, theatre etc.) created specifically for a recorded medium.
Inter-arts CRI (1-3) Recorded/rendered creative works, often experimental, produced in association with other researchers in other disciplinary fields.
Digital Creative Work CRD (1-3) Digital creative works including creative 3D models, digital outputs of architectural and design projects, computer programs, games and visual artworks.
Website/Web exhibition CRW (1-3) These are eligible as recorded/ rendered creative works if the eligible researcher is the creator of the creative works featured in the website. Curated web based exhibitions of the creative work of others must be submitted as Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events.
Other (CRO) CRO (1-3) Other recorded/rendered creative works not listed above.
Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events
This category specifically captures research outputs produced by curators including the curation of web-based exhibitions, conventional exhibitions and events, and festivals. Exhibition catalogues written by curators, and containing a research element, should be submitted as Original Creative Works in the "Written work" sub-category. Multiple exhibitions/events cannot be counted as multiple research outputs where the repeated exhibitions/events do not introduce a new research component to the work. For example, a touring exhibition can only be counted once. Multiple exhibitions/events may be counted where each subsequent exhibition/event introduces a new research component to the work that build upon the initial research component of the original exhibition/event. Recurring exhibitions and events may be submitted. For example the Biennale of Sydney is a recurring event with each occurrence being unique rather than a repeat of the previous occurrence.
CWC Category Code Description
Web-based Exhibition CCW (1-3) The curation and/or production of a website presenting a collection of creative works where the internet is the medium of the exhibited works
Exhibition/Event CCE (1-3) The curation and/or production of a collection of creative works exhibited together for the first time, in that particular arrangement, in a recognised gallery, museum, or event. This should be accompanied by a well-researched publication that includes the time and location of the exhibition.
Festival CCF (1-3) The curation of a festival bringing together innovative work or existing works in an innovative format or through a theme that provides new perspectives and/or experiences
Other CCO (1-3) Curated or substantial public exhibitions and events that do not fit into the above sub-categories of the Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibitions and Events research output type.

Scale of VU Creative Works Category Research Output Types

(22) The works are classified as major, substantial or minor. The measures for scale classifications vary from one creative discipline to another. It is considered the responsibility of the researcher, as expert in their field, to substantiate appropriately the claim of the scale of the research output via the evidence provided.

(23) The following information/examples provide some broad descriptive parameters that may be of assistance to individual researchers when considering the scale of their output.

  1. Major works (each worth a basic allocation of 2.5 points).
    To be designated by placing '-1' after the creative works category code e.g. COV-1.

    A major work usually would be a significant output of great scope such as a novel, a feature film/ documentary, a musical or theatrical production, or an exhibition or performance at a major venue. A researcher will typically have worked on the output for a long period of time, often spanning several years. The work must be publicly available via a recognised commercial distribution or publication, and have had a demonstrable impact in the field. As outlined in clause (19), if a work is of international standing and/or of high esteem, these two weighting factors may be applied sequentially to any given work submitted (2.5 to 10 points). See Appendix C for case studies and examples.
  2. Substantial works (each worth a basic allocation of 1 point).
    To be designated by '-2' after the creative works category code e.g. COV-2.

    A substantial work would be very similar to a major work but typically the extent, duration and scope of the work is likely to be smaller. Examples may include a novella, a musical or theatrical production of shorter duration, or an exhibition at a major venue. A researcher may have worked on a substantial work for less than a year. The work must be made publicly available via a recognised commercial distribution or publication, and have had a measurable impact in the field. As outlined in clause (19), if a work is of international standing and/or of high esteem, these two weighting factors can be applied sequentially to any given work submitted, meaning it is possible to compound the multipliers (1 to 4 points). See Appendix C for case studies and examples.
  3. Minor works (each worth a basic allocation of 0.2 points).
    To be designated by '-3' after the creative works category code e.g. COV-3.

    A minor work is normally a research output of lesser scope that still makes a contribution to the field such as a short review or creative prose work, an audio production of less than 20 minutes duration, a segment of a musical or theatrical production, or participation in an exhibition or performance. The work must be made publicly available via a recognised commercial distribution or publication, and have had an impact in the field. As outlined in clause (19), if a work is of international standing and/or of high esteem, these two weighting factors can be applied sequentially to any given work submitted, meaning it is possible to compound the multipliers (.2 to .8 points). See Appendix C for case studies and examples.

Evidence Requirements for VU Creative Works Category Research Output Types

(24) The following table summarises evidence requirements for each of the categories listed in clause (20) to (22) above that will support the scale classification claimed for the research output.

Evidence Item Requirement to include for each research output
Staff Creator(s) Required for all artists/authors who are eligible researchers. The Staff Creator must be affiliated with Victoria University and the affiliation must be identified on the work or on supporting evidence of the work.
Creator(s) Required to list all artists/authors of the creative work output
Title (of research output) Required
Place of Publication Required
Year published or year publically available Required
Extent (quantification of the work i.e., duration, pagination, touring venues/locations etc.) Required
VU Creative Works Category and code required
e.g. CRF-2
Required
Research Statement Required
VU Attribution Required within the supporting evidence of the work. Where VU affiliation is not evident, a statement from the Staff Creator(s) indicating that they undertook the work leading to the research output in their capacity, as a VU staff member will be required.
Publisher Required if available
Sensitive handling note Required if output is sensitive
Media Required if available (for example interactive video installation website, DVD or CD)
Notes (e.g. essential information that is required in order to support or verify the research output) Required if available/ applicable (for example role of creator, venue name and type, venue commissioner , etc.)
Electronic location Required if available
International importance Required if claimed for output
High esteem Required if claimed for output
Year presented As available/appropriate
Standard Number As available/appropriate, for example ISMN
Issue As available/appropriate
Volume As available/appropriate
Translated As available/appropriate
Sensitive (for example parental guidance rating, ethics parameters) As available/appropriate
Available in open access repository As available/appropriate
Research Theme (e.g. focus of conceptual content of work such as politics, pop culture, sexuality etc.) As available/appropriate

Creative Works as Research Annual Collection Process

(25) The University will undertake an annual collection of Creative Research Works in accordance with the University Creative Works as Research Guidelines.

(26) The collection process will be administered by the Office for Research and will commence with an email invitation to academic staff.

(27) All academic staff will be provided with a minimum 6 week period from the time of the email invitation to complete the required documentation, supply the necessary supporting evidence and submit to the Office for Research. The collection will usually occur in semester one.

(28) Submissions of creative research works must be complete and include all of the information required on the application form, the research statement, and copies of documentation to verify the creative research works as specified in the guidelines. Incomplete applications will not be considered and will be referred back to the applicant.

(29) It is recommended that applicants contact relevant Discipline Group Leaders (or equivalent) within the College for advice prior to lodging an application. This is especially important for those unfamiliar with the process and the requirements for the University's creative research works collection to contact the relevant discipline group leader within their College for advice.

(30) Creative Works research applications will be assembled by the Office for Research and presented to the University's Creative Research Works Evaluation Committee. The Committee will be responsible for determining whether the works satisfy requirements as set out in the Guidelines.

(31) The Committee membership will be appointed by the Vice-President (Research) to ensure that there is sufficient expertise to complete the evaluation of works submitted. The Committee will be chaired by the Vice-President (Research) or nominee. Discipline Group Leaders (or equivalent) from Colleges will be invited to sit on the Committee in order that they can provide feedback to applicants if required.

(32) The Evaluation Committee may:

  1. seek additional, expert input to assist with the evaluation of individual works if required. This input may be sought from internal or external sources.
  2. on the basis of the application, accept, modify or reject the application. Modification may include a reduction in the research scale claimed. Where a modification is made the applicant will be informed.

(33) The decisions of the Evaluation Committee will be final.

(34) Following approval of the application, the works will be recorded in the relevant institutional database and documentary evidence forwarded to the Library for inclusion in the Institutional Repository.