Thursday, March 7, 2019
review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC). What is the ANZSRC I hear you say - well it is the field of research codes, or FOR codes. It is also the socio-economic objectives (SEO) and type of activity (pure research, strategic research applied research etc).
It is a good time to refresh the categorization to bring it into line with current and future research activity. It is particularity pleasing to see the inclusion of a specific question around how Aboriginal research is categorized (currently it is all hidden at the '6-digit' FOR level).
The other interesting question is around interdisciplinary research and how the classification could be set up to support this better. If research is multidisciplinary then it is probably a simple matter of tagging it with more than one FOR code. If it is truly inter- or trans-disciplinary activity and of some scale then perhaps it should just have its own FOR code (maybe under a division of 'Interdisciplinary').
I sometimes think of research disciplines as fruits - a field of research might be like an apple, and another is a pear and another is a banana. When research is multidisciplinary it is like we have chopped up the fruit and tossed it together in a bowl to make a fruit salad - works well together but still separate fruits. Interdisciplinary research might be more like a fruit smoothy - we've taken all of the fruits we need but blended them together and have created something new and different. So, ANSZRC helps us classify the fruits and the fruit salad - but how will it classify the smoothy?
You can have a look at the review document yourself at the ARC website: https://www.arc.gov.au/anzsrc-review