Research Publications

Please note that much of this information relates to the system as it is managed by IRIS. The new PURE system will operate with different processes and is expected to replace IRIS early in 2017.

Details of your research outputs are currently managed by the Library. The titles of all publications are available through ResearchOnline. The current process is:

  • The Library collects information from scholarly databases (this process mainly identifies publications from peer-reviewed journals), book vendor databases and other possible sources of Macquarie publications, including publication lists sent in by researchers.
  • Library staff create a publication record, source the publication evidence and load the record into Macquarie University ResearchOnline, with copies of HERDC verification documentation if required (the Faculty Research Office do not have to collect verification evidence for publications identified and entered into Macquarie University ResearchOnline/IRIS by the Library, unless requested by the Research Office).
  • These publication records are uploaded into the Integrated Research Information System (IRIS).
  • Research Office, Faculty and Departmental staff “verify” that the publication is a research output and that MQ is entitled to claim it (see below, “What is the Verification Process?”).

How to check your publications in IRIS

The link to IRIS is:   The RME interface can behave differently with different browsers. You will only get menus that you have access for, but sometimes the options that are available to you within some pages may be affected by the browser, so if you cannot see what you expect to see, please try opening IRIS in a different browser.

Your login is your MQ number and your password is your OneID password.

YOU must be the one to check your publications to see if they are all in there, particularly if you come to MQ from another university. If you ask someone else to do it (including your department administrators), they will not see any papers you have written before you arrived at MQ, even though these publications may be already entered in IRIS. Because they are papers ‘external’ to the University, IRIS does not give permissions for anyone else except the central Research Office and yourself to see them.

Pending Publications (“Submissions in Process”)

These are publications which Research Online has received but not yet finalised in IRIS. You should check this page if you are asked to look at your publications, as Research Online already knows about them.

The link to this page is: .

The Difference between IRIS and ARIS

You may be asked to use ARIS at certain times to check publications, often during ERA. ARIS runs queries from IRIS and displays the information in a report. If you are asked to use ARIS you will be given instructions and information about the report you need to check. Your login and password for ARIS are both your MQ number. ARIS can sometimes be used for adjusting data, if the report has been set up that way.


Data Collection and HERDC

Publications must meet the “Definition of Research” set by the Department of Training and Education. This is defined in the HERDC Specifications 2016 (and in previous specifications). Broadly, this says:

“Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.”

This means that in order to be counted a publication must:

contain evidence of substantial scholarly activity
be original
be verified through peer review or rigorous editing
increase the stock of knowledge, and
be in a form which enables the dissemination of knowledge

Articles and conference papers which do not meet this criteria will not be verified with a HERDC category (see below) and will not count toward your Research Active or Research Productive status.

HERDC Categories

These are based on the categories specified in the 2015 HERDC Specifications, which included publications (the more recent specifications do not – please see the Research Measurement page for more information about these changes). All categories must meet the Definition of Research described above.

The main categories for publications are:

A1 – an entire authored book, published by a commercial publisher (includes many university presses but usually not books printed by special-interest hobby-horse organisations). Does NOT include textbooks.

B1 – an authored chapter in an edited work that meets the criteria for A1. Editorial introductions are not included.

C1 – an article in a peer reviewed journal. Must present original research and be published in a scholarly journal. Does NOT include case studies – so unless your paper is specifically a case study, please do not put “case study” in the title of your work. Does not include opinion pieces, unless new research is being presented as well.

E1 – peer reviewed conference paper published in full. This means the conference paper must have been peer reviewed as a full paper (not just the abstract) before acceptance, and there must be evidence available (either a statement in the proceedings, or a reviewer’s note) to prove this is the case.

Other categories common to Science and Engineering include:

E3 – abstracts at peer reviewed conferences (very common in Geology, for example)
C4 – a review or opinion piece in a peer reviewed article.
Q5 – Research Reports prepared for companies or government departments. New research must be presented.

What is the Verification Process?

Each publication is checked by either your Department or the Faculty (and sometimes both) to determine if the publication:

  • meets the definition of research
  • meets the requirements of the category
  • has at least one Macquarie author (whether bylined or not)
  • has the details entered correctly into IRIS

If you were at Macquarie while the research for the paper was being done, and there is no clear Macquarie byline on the paper, you will be asked to sign a verification form confirming that you were employed here at the time and that MQ can justify claiming your paper.

Once the publication is checked by the Faculty/Dept, it is submitted to the Research Office who confirm that meets the requirements and changes the final status to “Verfiied”. Verified publications were counted for the HERDC return – they are now counted at the beginning of July (for the previous year’s publications) as part of an internal report of research outputs.

Why does my publication say “Submitted for Department/Faculty Verification”?

Firstly, this unverified status does NOT mean there is a problem with your publication. This information only shows on the screen to facilitate administrator access through RMENet. If your publication appears in your IRIS record, then it is all good and you need do nothing more – unless you have a problem with the category or you notice the title information, year published etc., is incorrect.




Publications and ERA

ERA is not a count of outputs, it is an assessment of QUALITY. The four major HERDC categories are used to determine the eligibility of a publication for ERA.

ERA assesses publications from a specific set of journals, and the “ERA Journal List” is used – informally – by many universities as an indication of quality. The list of ERA 2015 journals from that list which received submissions from eligible institutions in the ERA 2015 evaluation is now available here.

ERA assesses research in Australian universities by categorising research using the 1297.0 – Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008.

You will be asked to check your publications at the beginning of every ERA round.


Copyright, Open Access and ensuring Quality in Publications

How you choose outlets for your work can have a huge impact on your reputation and your ‘fundability’. But with so many journals and conferences existing solely for the purposes of making money rather than disseminating quality research, it can be difficult to assess whether a potential outlet is going to be of benefit or not.

Dr Andy Pleffer maintains a webpage which focuses on Strategic Publishing, and looks at some tools you can use to help you to find the most effective homes for  your publications, including a link to the Library’s old guide “Evaluating Journals”.

You may have heard of Jeffrey Beall and his Predatory Publisher’s List. This is a good place to start but please remember that just because a journal is on this list, it doesn’t mean it is proven to be disreputable – just that you should do some more investigating before trying to publish there. Mr Beall has a known prejudice against Open Access. On the other hand he also has accumulated a large amount of evidence to support the blacklisting of a number of dodgy conference organisers, and his website is a good place to start if you are concerned about the legitimacy of a journal or conference. (As of the 17th January 2017 Beall’s List is offline – people wishing to refer to it should use the archive version:*/

Another website which can be useful is Retraction Watch. This blog covers retractions from the scientific record, and discusses issues around fraud and quality publishing.

The performance of the University in Research Excellence assessments such as ERA rely on you publishing in THE BEST POSSIBLE JOURNALS. Publications in predatory or low-quality journals actually detract from these results and will affect assessments of your track record and impact in your field.


The Commonwealth Copyright Act (1968) defines copyright law in Australia. The Library has a webpage devoted to copyright – what it is, what it applies to and when, and how not to fall foul of it.

Author Identifiers

The Library also has a good summary of the different author identifiers that can be used to uniquely identify you as an author. Macquarie University has recently joined the Australian ORCID consortium, which is an open access author identification system. The Library also gives a description of the Thomson Reuters ResearcherID initiative, and explains what the ScopusID is. It is recommended that all researchers make use of the ORCID, as it will eventually make it much easier for assessors to find and view your work without mixing you up with someone of a similar name.