Skip to main content

ASAA feedback from members sought on FOR codes

If you are a member of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, we are seeking your feedback on the review that is currently underway into the Australian New Zealand Standard Research Classification system. This is the system which organises the Field of Research (FOR) codes by which our research is classified for government and reporting purposes. As you will be aware, these FOR codes are important, among other purposes, for classifying research projects in the ARC and for evaluating research quality through the ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) process. You can read more about the review here: https://www.arc.gov.au/anzsrc-review

The existing FOR structure is organised according to broad areas at the two-digit level, and into disciplines at the four-digit level. At the level of the six-digit codes, some allowance is made for recognition of Asia-focused research in several disciplines (see list below) but with numerous omissions. The ERA process takes place at the level of two and four digit codes, thus not allowing for specific recognition of Asia-focused research. There is a catch-all six-level code “Studies of Asian Society”, which allows for the recognition of cross-disciplinary work, but the four-digit code under which this is located, Other Studies in Human Society, is a residual category and is often not assessed.

Broadly speaking, there are two pathways that could be recommended by ASAA:

A maximalist approach would be to argue for recognition of Asian Studies (or perhaps area studies) at the two- or four-digit code level. This would allow for our cross-disciplinary work to be better recognised, including in the ERA. It would be challenging to achieve this change, given that the system is organised on a disciplinary basis. Moreover, success might bring far-reaching and possibly negative consequences (for instance it might give incentives to university administrators to pull Asia researchers out of discipline-based units; it might mean that research projects end up getting evaluated by Asianists who lack the requisite disciplinary expertise).

A minimalist approach would be to argue for the creation of more six-digit codes recognising Asia-focused research. This would enable such research to be recognised in the ARC grants process, but would not affect ERA evaluations.

As noted above, there are currently no Asia-related six-digit codes in a lot of areas, including: Anthropology, Art Theory and Criticism, Applied Economics (or any of the economics codes), Built Environment and Design, Demography, Education, Human Geography, Law, Performing Arts and Creative Writing, Philosophy, Policy and Administration, Sociology.

If you have ideas or views on this issue, please contact me by email (edward.aspinall@anu.edu.au) by 22 May. We are especially interested in hearing from colleagues who feel that any of the six-digit omissions should be rectified, and would appreciate any justifications you could provide for the changes you propose.

Existing Asia-related six-digit codes and the four-digit codes in which they are nested: 
1606 Political Science
160606               Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
1699     Other Studies in Human Society
169903 Studies of Asian Society
2002     Cultural Studies 
200202               Asian Cultural Studies
2003 Language Studies
200311               Chinese Languages
200312               Japanese Language
200313               Indonesian Languages
200314               South-East Asian Languages (excl Indonesian)
200315               Indian Languages
200316               Korean Language
200317               Other Asian Languages (excl South-East Asian)
2005 Literary Studies
200516               Indonesian Literature
200517               Literature in Chinese
200518               Literature in Japanese
200519               South-East Asian Literature (excl Indonesian)
200520               Indian Literature
200521               Korean Literature
200522               Other Asian Literature (excl South-East Asian)
2101 Archaeology
210103               Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
2204     Religion and Religious Studies
220406               Studies in Eastern Religious Traditions (+ codes on Islam, Christianity, etc)
2103     Historical Studies 
210302               Asian History





Popular posts from this blog

The impact of Covid-19 on research

Covid-19 is currently disrupting academic publishing in a number of ways.  There are disruptions to the global supply chain for the manufacture and distribution of printed journals. The following publishers have halted journal printing until further notice: Cambridge University Press (from 25 March 2020) Taylor & Francis (from 10 April) S ome journal editors or editing boards have suspended or delayed the review or publication process for academic journals.  On the other hand, some publishers are providing open access content for a limited period of time. See the following links from the UNSW library  and the  ANU library , or select publishers websites such as  OUP .  The University of California Press has opened free access to all its journals until the end of June 2020 Hart Publishing is currently offering free access for libraries to its online platform,  Bloomsbury Collections , until the end of May. To enable access for your institution, email Hart at O

Access to Justice and Administrative Law in Myanmar

Administrative law is an important part of access to justice because it can operate as a check and balance on government decision-making, and provide an avenue for individuals to seek review of government decisions. In a report sponsored by USAID and TetraTech for their 'Promoting the Rule of Law in Myanmar' program, I emphasise the importance of administrative law in Myanmar in promoting good governance, accountability and checks on executive power.  The main avenue for judicial review of administrative action in Myanmar is the constitutional writs under the 2008 Constitution. Since 2011, a large number of applications for the constitutional writs have been brought to the Supreme Court. The Writ Procedure Law 2014 was introduced to clarify the Supreme Court procedure for handling writ cases. The constitutional writs are a new area of law and support needs to be provided to a range of legal actors in order to take hold of the potential opportunity this provides.  Ef

Professional Legal Education in Commercial and Corporate Law in Myanmar

Dr Melissa Crouch and Associate Professor Lisa Toohey of UNSW Law Faculty are undertaking a Professional Legal Education Project in Commercial and Corporate law in Myanmar (2016-2017), funded by the Asian Development Bank.  Melissa Crouch is the Team leader and Legal Education and Myanmar Law expert. Lisa Toohey is the Legal Education and Commercial Law expert on the project.  Emma Dunlop is the Legal Researcher and Project administrator. Melissa Crouch at the USC Strategic Action Plan meeting 2016 The focus of the project is on improving legal education and skills integral to the transactional practice and adjudication of commercial law, at this critical time in Myanmar's transition to democracy. The project includes developing a training program for the practical legal training needs of private lawyers, government lawyers, prosecutors and judges in commercial and financial law.  Melissa, Lisa and Melinda with law students from Dagon University In 2016, the first stag