Australian Research Council reverses new funding rule after widespread criticism | Australian universities

1 week ago 24

| September 14, 2021 |

The Australian Research Council has reversed its determination to prohibition preprint worldly from being cited successful backing applications, aft wide disapproval from the world community.

The ban, introduced by the national authorities bureau successful the 2021 backing circular of the Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards and Future Fellowships, was opposed by hundreds of Australian researchers, including the presidents of highest technological bodies representing researchers successful mathematics and the carnal sciences.

The reversal comes aft Guardian Australia reported past period connected the concerns of researchers whose assistance applications had been disqualified arsenic a effect of the rule. Several described it arsenic a “devastating” lawsuit that jeopardised their probe careers successful Australia.

It is communal signifier successful definite disciplines to upload probe papers to preprint servers portion they acquisition rigorous peer-review earlier work successful world journals.

The ARC’s determination to prohibition applicants from citing specified preprints successful backing proposals had been described arsenic retired of keeping with modern probe practices and “a remarkably anserine own-goal for Australian science”.

In a connection connected Tuesday, the ARC said: “The inclusion of preprints volition nary longer beryllium considered an eligibility contented and applications volition not beryllium excluded by their use.

“Instead, the ARC volition trust connected the cognition of its assessors successful determining the value, suitability and relevance of citations and probe outputs for the disciplinary field.”

The regularisation reversal brings the ARC successful enactment with many backing bodies internationally, specified arsenic the European Research Council and the National Institutes of Health successful the US, which judge preprints successful their applications.

It was revealed successful August that ARC assistance applications totalling $22m successful backing were deemed ineligible, aft the Senate passed an bid for accumulation of documents requiring the authorities to supply de-identified accusation astir the proposals.

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Greens legislator and acquisition spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi, who moved the question past month, said successful a statement: “The ARC has seen consciousness and rescinded this nonsensical regularisation aft a immense backlash from the probe community.

“The ARC needs to bash overmuch amended connected transparency. It should not person taken a Senate bid to divulge cardinal accusation astir impacted DECRA and Future Fellowship applications.”

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Photograph: Tim Robberts/Stone RF

The ARC said the alteration to preprint requirements would not beryllium applied to backing rounds wherever exertion deadlines had passed, but that it would advancement with “standard exertion and appeals processes … arsenic a substance of priority”.

Faruqi said: “It’s devastating that the regularisation volition proceed to use for rounds already closed, and I impulse the ARC to reconsider. More researchers volition unnecessarily look heartbreak, with the carnal sciences disproportionately impacted.

“If the ARC does not people the accusation for applications impacted successful rounds inactive nether consideration, I volition again inquire the Senate to bid its release.”

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