The Research Quality Framework (RQF) will require that the research assessed in the first cycle be stored in a digital storage system (repository) wherever possible. The Australian Scheme for Higher Education Repositories (ASHER) programme will assist universities to meet this requirement during the first RQF cycle.The universities only have to show each paper stored in the system to a handful of assessors. But hopefully they will take the opportunity to build a publicly accessible repository so that any academic, business person or member of the general public can see what good work they have been doing. It would be a shame to spend tens of millions of dollars to build an electronic publishing system for a handful of people to use.
The Australian Government is providing $25.5 million through the ASHER programme over three years to assist with the establishment of digital repositories in Australian universities. This will allow institutions to place their research outputs, including journal articles and less traditional outputs such as digitised artworks or x-ray crystallography images in an accessible digital store for the RQF assessment.
The RQF system is being tested in 2007 and for implementation in 2008.
The ACS Digital Library system will be available to universities and is designed to simplify the process for the RQF. Universities can scan the library for their authors and load the details into their institutional repository.