Research Outputs Cycle 2013

April 2013 – Research Outputs Cycle 2013

The Research Outputs (RO) reporting cycle to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DoHET) which requires all universities to submit their accredited research outputs on 15 May, is almost upon us.


For those not familiar with the process, it is a requirement by the Government for all Higher Education Institutions to submit all their recognised research outputs for subsidy.

Taken from the Policy and Procedures for Measurement of Research Output of Public Higher Education Institutions – Ministry of Education – June 2003

Recognised Research Output

For the purpose of subsidy, recognised research output, in terms of this policy comprise journals, books and proceedings.


Journals refer to peer-reviewed periodical publications devoted to disseminating original research and new developments within specific disciplines, sub-disciplines or field of study. These include original articles, research letters, research papers, and review articles. However, only approved journals are subsidised.


Books refer to peer-reviewed, non-periodical scholarly or research publications disseminating original research on developments within specific disciplines, subdiscipline or field of study. Only books that meet specified criteria are subsidised.

Examples of different types of books include:

Monographs, which are relatively short books or treatise on a single scholarly subject written by a specialist(s) in the field and are generally not extensive in scope.

Chapters, which are one or more major divisions in a book, each complete in itself but related in theme to the division preceding or following it.

Edited works are collections of scholarly contributions written by different authors and related in theme. A book may have one or more editors.


Proceedings refer to a published record of a conference, congress, symposium or other meeting whose purpose is to disseminate original research and new developments within specific disciplines, sub-disciplines or field of study. Only proceedings that meet specified criteria are subsidised.

Higher Education Institutions (HEI) is required to capture all the relevant outputs, have the reports signed off by external auditors and then submitted to the Department of Education.

A pre-selected panel (made up of executives from the research and HEI sector), then review every submission and make a decision on the amount of units allocated.

Submission for 2013

2013 will be 4th year that the HEIs submit to the DoHET using the InfoEd RO module. Support tickets for the module have been at an all-time low which is indicative that the module is mature and settled.

As the RO module is utilised further, it is enabling institutions to meet and provide more detailed data. For example: Prof A Smith has published 5 Journal Articles, 10 Conference Papers that qualify for the 2013 DoHET but he has also been the supervisor for 5 Master and 2 PhD students.  This quantifies into a monetary value that the institution and the academic will receive.

The research outputs are then pushed into his GENIUS profile which allows for activity and output reporting. This allows the institution to review, track and publish the outputs from the academic.


As you can see, research output reporting is critical for the institutions that provide millions in funding.  At InfoEd we ensure that the system will handle the volume, activity and reporting that is required.

The RO process is not just for South African HEIs but is used in several countries around the world. The process and subsidy might be different, but the goal is very much the same for these countries.

If you have any questions or comments on the usage of RO, please do not hesitate to contact me @

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