Enhancing UWA’s Research Reputation

A Discussion Paper Based on the Academic Literature

This paper is a response to a call from the DVC Research for discussion on how UWA’s
research reputation may be improved. The paper shows why reputation is important and
reviews factors associated with high reputation. Four salient points emerge: (i) Research and
teaching are approached and conducted differently across disciplines. However, research drives
reputation across all areas. (ii) There are policy decisions UWA can make even with its
constrained funding that will positively affect its research outcomes and reputation. (iii) The
views of bibliometric experts indicate focusing directly on improving UWA’s ARWU ranking
derives from an “audit culture” mentality that systematically detracts from generation of high
impact research. (iv) The intensity with which UWA can push the policy levers to maximise
high impact research is constrained by its mission to excel as well in teaching and civic

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