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PhD Conference

This annual Crawford PhD Conference conference provides a wonderful opportunity to present your work in an open and supportive academic environment. You should encourage your colleagues to attend and to share time to discuss and debate the high quality of research that takes place in the Crawford School. The conference is open to the public and draws delegates from the public service, embassies, NGOs, and many other organisations.

ANU's Digital Collections

ANU Digital Collections provides an online location for collecting, maintaining, and disseminating the scholarly output of the University. This service allows members of the University to share research with the wider community. Digital Collections accepts journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, working or technical papers and other forms of scholarly communication such as poster presentations. It is also a repository for digital images of manuscripts and photographs in University research collections.

In particular, the ANU Library strongly promotes the work of postgraduate students through their posters and conference presentations via the ANU Digital Collections project. You should consider at least adding your PhD Conference presentation to this repository.

Higher Degree Research Committee

The Crawford Higher Degree Research (HDR) Committee is chaired by the HDR Directors and covers research and HDR matters and makes decisions on student scholarships and visiting fellowships where appropriate.

The committee meets every second month, plans the School's research-related activities, and designs and implements relevant policies. The committee also makes decisions on student scholarships and visiting fellowships where appropriate. Representatives on the committee include the PhD Convenors from each of the Crawford streams (POGO, RE&D, NSC, IDEC), the PhD Academic and Research Skills Advisor, the HDR Administrator, and an HDR student representative. Meetings are held every second month, except (typically) January.

HDR Committee student representative and elections
PhD students have at least one representative, sometimes two, on the Crawford School HDR Committee. Your current representatives are Belinda Lawton and Andrea Soriano.

Periodically, the HDR Committee seeks a new student representative or representatives. Students nominate themselves for a position on the HDR Committee and fellow students vote on those nominations in a first-past-the-post poll (conducted anonymously online). To sit on the HDR Committee you must be willing to:
  • Attend HDR Committee meetings
  • Seek student opinion on issues and matters that concern them
  • Present student views and perspectives
  • Represent student interests
  • Respond to student requests for representation
  • Report back to students about issues raised and determined by the HDR Committee that affect them

The runner-up in the poll may act as back-up for those times when the representative(s) is unable to attend HDR Committee meetings.

Engagement Team and Strategic Engagement Committee (SEC)

Crawford has an engagement team that runs most of Crawford’s events, manages the homepage of the school website and runs Policyforum.net. The engagement team is essentially a one-stop shop for communications. If you are awarded a scholarship, are invited to present at an international conference, make a breakthrough in your research, would like to write for Policy Forum (or the magazine Advance) or have any other newsworthy event, please let the Engagement Team know about it. Martyn Pearce (martyn.pearce@anu.edu.au) leads the team and will be happy to hear from you with anything newsworthy. Please keep the team informed of news - it helps let the broader Crawford community know about the contribution PhD scholars are making both internally and externally, as well as being a boost for your profile.

The Engagement Team also lead the Strategic Engagement Committee (SEC). SEC meets monthly to evaluate proposals from across Crawford School for support for events. The SEC was established to make the event co-ordination process more formalised and to encourage planning and forethought. Every event that requires staff time from the Crawford Engagement Team or resources (audio-visual, etc.) has to be approved by the committee. To propose an event, a form must be submitted at least five weeks prior to the event, detailing all the logistical needs, the target audience, what outputs might be generated, media and communications potential, and range of other factors. The committee usually has six members, including a PhD representative.

NECTAR

NECTAR is an independent space for Early Career Academics at The Australian National University. We are a direct channel of communication between ECA and the University Executive, effecting change to ensure ANU continues to be an attractive workplace for early career academics.

Research Digest

Research Digest provides regular information on research training activities available throughout ANU. Research students and supervisors are sent Research Digest at the start of every month. If you think you are not receiving the Research Digest, please contact researchtraining@anu.edu.au.

ORCiD

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD) is a global initiative that provides researchers with a free, unique identifier that can automatically link and attribute your research activities to you. By registering you automatically link to your research outputs from Scopus and Web of Science. The ANU Library sometimes runs ORCiD sign-up sessions at which you can get help registering for an ORCiD and have any questions answered. Check the ANU Library's events page for details.

Why does the ANU want every academic to register for an ORCID number?
Major funding organisations are increasingly using ORCIDs to distinguish clearly between researchers and populate lists of publications and research work in application portals. In a joint statement, the NHMRC and the ARC lauded the use of ORCIDs in '[f]acilitating disambiguation of researchers and research outputs' and '[e]nabling the linking and reuse of high quality, persistent data (e.g. publications, grants)'. More and more researcher platforms and information systems are drawing information from the not-for-profit ORCID database, as it has the reputation for being the most accurate and transparent. Eventually, the upcoming ANU Research Information Management System (RIMS) Program will also sync with ORCID.

Once you have your number, it is important that you first add your ANU employment details and grant the ANU access (make it public) in order for the University to be able to integrate your profile fully into its researcher network. Works (Publications) can be imported a number of ways. You can directly import your data from your Google Scholar account and your Endnote file via BibTeX. You can also import any publications listed on Scopus, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) National Collections Registry and CrossRef, to name only a few. Please see the site for a complete list of compatible databases. Works that cannot be imported from other sources must be entered manually. Please contact CAP Research Services Staff if in doubt. Funding must also be entered manually, although ORCID is currently developing greater compatibility for importation of funding entries as well.

Contact CAP Research Services if you have any questions or need any assistance.

HERDC and registering your publications

The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) is a federal government structure that basically awards money to universities based on their publication and research output. The catch is that every area of the university needs to capture HERDC eligible publications and submit them in a block each year. With values of up to a couple of thousand dollars per point (it’s complicated, but an authored research monograph can be worth up to 5 points), that is potentially a lot of money. What you need to do is:
  • Make sure everything you publish in a peer-reviewed publication (journal, book, conference paper, etc.) carries the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, attribution beneath your name, and
  • As soon as you receive the published version of your work, send it through to crawford.publications@anu.edu.au.

It’s really important to do this – it raises your profile here at Crawford and it helps bring in much-needed funds to keep running the great programs we all benefit from. Each year you will receive an email asking you to check your list of publications – please make sure you do it promptly.

Google Scholar Citations profile

Dr Google says (or did at some stage):

"Google Scholar Citations provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name.

Best of all, it's quick to set up and simple to maintain, even if you have written dozens of articles, and even if your name is shared by several different scholars. You can add groups of related articles, not just one article at a time, and your citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can even choose to have your list of articles updated automatically -- but, of course, you can also choose to review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time."

Get started with Google Scholar Citations.

Blogs, op-eds, and media


Other conferences

You can sign up to Conference Alerts Monthly in your discipline and get info on conferences into your inbox. Otherwise, try these:

Predatory publishers (aka 'vanity presses')

Contributed by Tim Legrand, Lecturer & PhD Program Convenor National Security College. Thanks, Tim!

Publishing scholarly research is the primary way that new academic research is disseminated. Publishing articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals is one of several means of publication (monographs, book chapters and conference papers being some others), and in the social sciences it is increasingly imperative for academics to place their research in journals since these are proxy measures of the quality of your research.

All journals that are recognised as meeting Australian scholarly standards are listed in the ERA 2012 and 2015. This was a comprehensive exercise by the Australian Research Council to produce an authoritative list of all journals published worldwide that are (a) peer-reviewed, (b) accessible to peers, (c) are agreed to meet rigorous quality-control standards. Any journals not listed in the ERA 2012 (or subsequent lists that the ARC publishes) might still be scholarly (and new journal falls into this category), but there are a good number that are, frankly, dodgy. Back in 2010, the ARC’s list of journals also gave all the journals a ranking: from A* (High international impact) to D (national or regional impact). See the ERA 2010 Ranked Journal List.

In their latest, 2015 list, the ARC have abandoned the ranking element (although most academics still use these as indicators of quality), and opted to maintain simply a long list of recognised journals. You can find a copy of the spreadsheet listing all journals in the ERA 2015 Journal List.

There are some major pitfalls for you to avoid in journal publishing. Over the past decade or so, a number of unscrupulous publishers have caught on to the growing pressure for academics to publish their work, and have set up online ‘journals’ that solicit article submissions from academics for a (hefty) publication fee. These have been labelled ‘predatory journals’, since they generally attempt to induce young or inexperienced researchers to submit their work and pay ‘publication fees’ that range from $100 to $1000 by emailing them directly (spamming, really) calling for submissions. Usually describing themselves as ‘Open Access’ (and to be clear, there are some very good quality genuine journals that are open-access!), predatory journals look otherwise respectable: i.e., have an apparent editorial board, ‘peer review policy’, attractive website, scholarly-sounding title, and so on. However, such journals are manifestly not peer-reviewed. Anyone with the right cash and a manuscript that may or may not be plagiarised can publish with these journals (since these exist only online, they cannot be shut down or otherwise sanctioned for not meeting scholarly standards). There is no process of copy-editing or quality control. In short, they are exploitative.

How do I know that a journal is reputable, i.e., recognised as scholarly journal?
Check the ARC ERA 2015 Journal List (link above). If it is not listed, then you should assume (to be on the safe side) that is not recognised as a scholarly journal. As mentioned above, journals not on this list are not automatically predatory, (i.e., see below on new journals) but your safest bet is to stick to the ARC list. If you’re at all unsure, ask your supervisor.

What if it is a new journal? i.e., it commenced after the last ARC ERA process?
There are new journals starting up all the time. They take a few years, at least, before they are recognised as rigorous outlets, so in this time they seek to build up a good academic reputation by inviting publications. Generally, they will be based out of a reputable publishing house (i.e., Taylor and Francis, Sage, Cambridge, etc) or a recognised learned society (i.e., the British International Studies Association publishes a well-regarded journal called the Review of International Studies). Crucially, they will always have peer-review processes in place, and never (ever!) ask for a fee for your work to be published. There is a whitelist of new open-access journals maintained by the Directory of Open Access Journals. This is a site that quality checks journals. If your journal is on that whitelist, it’s probably a new journal that hasn’t yet made it onto the ARC’s list.

What’s the hoopla about being ‘indexed’ by a journal database?
How long do you have? Fundamentally, being included on a scholarly database ‘index’ is marker of the quality of the journal. Being ‘indexed’ by Thompson Reuters or Scopus or PubMed (there are lots) means that the indexing service has checked that the journal is rigorous, peer-reviewed and is of sufficient reputation to merit inclusion in their index. Doing so makes the journal more accessible to the scholarly community and provides assurances of quality. So the indexing services act as quality assessors, and offer metrics on that quality (‘Impact Factor’ is one such measure). These can be difficult sometimes to use, so for simplicity's sake I recommend you stick to the ARC list.

What should happen when I submit to a reputable, peer-reviewed, and ARC-recognised journal?
The process of getting research published is hugely time-consuming, but rather rewarding if and when you are successful. These are the approximate steps:
  1. Write your paper (this can be a horrid and soul-destroying process)
  2. Identify a journal that publishes research of the sort you have conducted, and is recognised by the ARC.
  3. Align your paper with the preferred ‘house style’ (i.e., reference style, spelling and grammar conventions, etc.) of the journal (listed on their website)
  4. Submit the paper (often via a website called ManuscriptCentral) removing all references to your name (or anything that could identify you). Include a separate cover sheet with these details. These instructions will be given to you at the time of submission.
  5. The editor reviews your paper for alignment with the journal’s aims and for overall style; if they think it is in the journal’s referred range of research, they send it to two peer-reviewers.
  6. The peer reviewers receive your anonymised paper, read it carefully, and make one of the following determinations: (i) Reject; (ii) Revise and Resubmit (this means the paper is generally acceptable, but has a few significant shortcomings that should be revised before resubmitting); (iii) Accept with minor revisions (Hooray! They like it, but just want you to tweak some bits and pieces. Usually typos, referencing errors, or grammatical problems); (iii) Accept with no revisions (This is the Holy Grail. Perhaps only 5% of papers are in this category).
  7. The editor makes their decision based on the peer-reviewers’ recommendations. If there is a discrepancy between recommendations, then they will either make her own decision or send the paper out to another peer-reviewer (or more). My personal record is 5 peer-reviewers who argued over whether or not to publish my paper, but I’ve heard of more!
  8. If you are accepted, you will receive an email informing you of this achievement along with instructions on what is needed to bring it to publication. Generally, you will receive proofs with required ‘corrections’ within two months or so. You also must sign a copyright release.
  9. Your article gets published!
  10. You start on the next article.

I’ve submitted to a journal that is not on the ARC 2012 list, and now they have asked me to pay a fee before publication: what should I do?
Run a mile. Withdraw your paper and find a paper that is on the ARC list. If your work is (a) original and (b) interesting, there are a dozen other ARC-recognised journals that would be interested (and will never demand payment).

Are you sure? Are there any other ways I can check to see if a journal is unscrupulous?
Yes, there is indeed: check Beall’s list, which identifies all such dodgy publishers. Some of the publishers in fact have several journals, so do check links that approximate to the name of a journal you are concerned about.

But this journal says it is indexed by Google Scholar!
Google Scholar’s indexing service doesn’t filter out dodgy publishers (since they are many!). Being indexed by Google means nothing.

I submitted my paper to a journal and it got accepted! However, they’ve asked me if I would like to pay for 'Gold-Access'? What is this?
This really is heart of the whole problem.

If you follow the publishing process outlined above, your article will appear as a PDF in the journal’s latest Issue (journals publish several issues a year) and be printed in the hard-copy of the journal (though not necessarily these days). Access to journal articles is generally restricted to subscribers to these journals: the subscriptions are really expensive, and usually it is universities who pay these fees to allow academics and students to access the published research. For example, look at the articles listed at the bottom of an academic's email. If you are not on a University campus and you click any of the hyperlinked titles, you’ll get to a paywall (academics don’t like this, incidentally, but that is another issue). There are ways around this: for example, in my email signature I include 'free download of pre-print version' links at the end of each article, which is a non-formatted version of the article that I am allowed to distribute from my own website.

Gold Access is a relatively new mechanism that scholarly publishers have introduced to allow research to reach a wider audience. So, to re-state the above, when you publish with a journal your work then becomes available only to subscribers of that journal. 'Gold-Access’ is a means for the major publishing houses to increase their own revenues, by asking for additional payment from the author in advance to make the article open-access to the public. This is where the predatory ‘open access’ model has managed to induce some confusion amongst some academics. There’s much more to this debate, though, than I have time for here. Suffice to say: if you can publish for free (albeit the work is held behind a paywall) this is normal for a reputable publisher.

Why should the public have to pay to download journal articles at all?
Good question. We should all be up in arms about this.

What’s the bottom line?
Publishing your research in a peer-reviewed journal is a real achievement. To ensure that you do not fall victim to the ‘predatory journals’ out there, look for these ‘red flags’:
  • The journal sent you an email inviting you to publish
  • The journal asks for payment before publication
  • It is based in a really obscure university
  • They accept your paper in number of days or weeks (for reference, my fastest time from article submission to ‘accept’ was 3 months; my slowest, 9 months)
  • The journal undertakes little or no copy-editing

What if I’m still confused?
A good rule of thumb is that if you are in any doubt about the authenticity of a journal, then don’t publish with them. There are thousands of journals that are easily checked and verified for academic rigour. These are the ones that you should target.