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Many Australian universities have prioritised improving discipline performance on the national research assessment – Excellence for Research in Australia. However, a culture of secrecy pervades Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). There are no specified criteria for the assignment of ratings on a 5-point scale ranging from ‘well above world standard’ (5) to ‘well below world standard’ (1). No rationale is provided to institutions for their discipline ratings and university staff on the ERA panels sign confidentiality agreements. However, what is available to universities are the research strategies that each university documents to improve its ERA performance in its Mission-based Compact, a government funding agreement. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the similarities and differences in the research strategies that universities with different performance profiles employ. Following an analysis of the strategies, substantial commonality was identified in strategy use. However, what was different was how universities employed these strategies and the associated contexts.

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Journal Article

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