Where is education research done and why?

Year: 2012

Author: Bobis, Janette, Shore, Sue

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper examines the locations from which research outputs were submitted to ERA as units of evaluation in FOR 13 –Education. It builds on similar studies of education research in the UK that highlighted the significance of two themes: 'Where do education researchers work?' and 'Where is [education] research published?' (Furlong and Lawn, 2007).  These questions focus our mapping of Australian education research by identifying where education research has been conducted. This data analysis identifies three categories of education researchers: (a) those academics working in an Education academic unit and published in FOR13; (b) those academics working in another organisational academic unit and published in FOR 13; and (c) those academics working in an Education unit but not published in FOR13.

This categorization provides a framework for analysing the spatial organisation of education research and its distribution across Australia's geography, universities, university groupings, and academic organisational units. Leveraging de-identified ERA data in this way to map education research also allows us to draw apparent relationships between governance of higher education, strategic groupings of Australian universities, academic placement within and across academic and disciplinary locations and regionality. We use this analysis to draw provisional conclusions about (a) the topography of Australian education research and its distinctive and shared contours with the growing literature from the UK, Canada and Europe; and (b) the extent to which research capacity building may be facilitated by understandings of place and location within regions, networks and disciplines.