The Research & Innovation Office


Research Excellence Publication Incentive Scheme

The University recognizes and rewards research active staff in a number of ways including a publications rewards scheme to reward high-quality research publications. These pages describe the scheme for rewarding publications (from the preceding year) by USP staff and students in journals, books, book chapters and conference proceedings that are ranked according to the current USP ranking system.

Two important features of this scheme are:

  1. Financial rewards under this scheme will be deposited either as part of salary, subject to income tax (staff) or as a cheque (students).
  2. If the total amount of eligible rewards exceeds the annual budget, then successful claimants will receive only an appropriate pro rata proportion of the amount calculated according to the criteria explained in these pages.

Section 1 of this document discusses the eligibility of USP staff and students for these rewards. Section 2 explains how the impact of publications is measured for this purpose. Section 3 provides information on Academic Research Patents and award eligibility. Section 4 explains the procedure for applying for these rewards.

Section 1. Eligibility

  1. Publications must meet the definition of ‘research’ as specified by the latest Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) guidelines. Thus editorials, comments, news articles, conference reports, text books and reviews are not considered to be research publications. Review articles that provide synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes are eligible.
  2. Articles must be formally published, and citation indexed, in the calendar year under consideration (the year preceding the reward), including advanced online publications. Note that in the latter case, these cannot be rewarded again in the following years’ rewards event.
  3. Rewards will only be made for publications in which USP was stated as the affiliation of the author in the publication.
  4. Rewards payments will only be made to staff who hold (at time of award) a contract with USP or to students who were enrolled at USP when the work was undertaken.
  5. Articles must have undergone independent peer review. An acceptable peer review process is one that involves an assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety before publication by independent, qualified experts. Independent in this context means independent of the author.
  6. Only full journal articles, books or book chapters and published conference proceedings representing a substantial body of research are eligible for rewards. Brief communications and notes (e.g. less than one printed page) are not eligible.
  7. The publication details must be deposited in the USP Electronic Research Repository at least two months before the formal awards presentation which is normally held in November.
  8. The Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Best Research Output and Best Student Research supersede this rewards scheme and the recipient(s) will not receive an additional reward for their publication.

Section 2. Assessing publication impact

The journal listing currently used by USP is known as USP2015. It is a journal ranking list adapted from the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) ERA 2010 classification, which has a large coverage of journals (>20,000). This list is reviewed annually depending on the number of submissions received from staff with requests for journal inclusions and ranking reviews. Notifications for submissions will be sent out by the Research Office every year. USP will also use the current Australian Business Deans Council’s (ABDC) rankings of journals in the areas of business and economics. Both classifications (USP2015 and ABDC) place journals into quality groups A*, A, B, C or unranked. If a journal is entered in both USP2015 and Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) classification, then claimants may use the higher ranking where they differ.

Section 3. Academic Research Patents and Reward

A patent is an exclusive right granted to the proprietor of an invention that prevents others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission. A patentable invention can be a product or a process that gives a new technical solution to a problem. As per the USP Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy:

“An individual’s creative effort belongs solely to that individual except where an employer (such as the University of the South Pacific) has engaged that individual in activities that may result in the production of Intellectual Property. It is assumed that, if an individual produces IP or Copyright while formally associated with the University, then the University has legal rights over the ownership of that IP or Copyright. At the same time, certain rights are retained by the individual.”

Any patentable invention produced as a result of research at USP, is eligible for rewards as shown in Table 1 below for the different levels of patenting.

Table 1. Rewards for Patents
Level of patenting Reward value attached to a patent (F$)
Fiji Regional
Certificate of Grant 7000 9000
Certificate of Examination 7000 9000

For multi-authored patents, the reward will be calculated using the same formula as that of journals (Table 3 below).


The nominal reward value attached to an article published in each class of journal is shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Nominal reward value accounting for journal quality
Quality class of journal according to USP2015 journal Ranking Reward value attached to a journal article (F$)
Fiji Regional
A* 5000 7000
A 3000 5000
B 500 3000
<B none none

USP encourages collaboration and involvement of students and early-career researchers in publications. This scheme therefore specifically encourages multi-authored journal articles. Thus if a paper has two authors, the reward value of the paper is not merely halved with each author receiving an equal share to their research account. Instead the formula, 2/(number of authors+1) is applied, the adjusting factor is called f and is shown in Table 3. This formula is the same as adopted by Wollongong University in Australia.

Table 3. The adjusting factor ( f ) for multiple authored publications
Number of authors f, Proportion of reward value allocated to each author
1 1
2 0.67
3 0.50
4 0.40
5 0.33
6 0.29
7 0.25

Thus for a publication in a group B journal with three authors, each author would receive F$250 (500 x 0.5). The formula will apply to ALL authors irrespective of whether or not they are USP staff, thus with five authors but only one USP staff member, the individual reward value will be multiplied by 0.33 and the USP staff member will receive his or her allocation; the non-USP staff will not receive rewards.


Books and Book Chapters are ranked according to a criteria adapted from the Australian HERDC system.  All books that meet the criteria will by default ranked ‘B’ in the USP ranking system. However, an author may make a claim for a higher ranking (A or A*). If this occurs the author will need to make the case as to why their publication falls within the top 15% or 5% respectively of book length publications in their field. The DVC RI&I may also request an independent external peer review. In all cases the final decision will be that of the DVC RI&I.

The Reward value for the quality of publisher is in Table 4 below.

Table 4. Reward value for books published according to quality of publisher
Quality class for publisher Reward value(F$)
Fiji Regional
A* 5000 7000
A 4000 6000
B 3000 5000
<B none none

The reward for writing a book also incorporates the number of pages, set in blocks of 200 pages. The formula to calculate reward for a book is:

P x (N/200) x f

where P is the reward value according to whether the publisher is in class A, B or C; N is the number of pages; and f is a factor to capture the number of author(s). The value of f is the same as for multiple authored papers in journals.

For example:

Nunn, Patrick D. (2007) Climate, environment and society in the Pacific during the last millennium. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 316 pages.

Elsevier is classified as a Group B publisher. There are 316 pages, there is one author, therefore this book would attract a reward of 3000 x (316/200) x 1 = F$4740.


For book chapters, the reward value is based on that of an entire book but reduced by a factor of 0.2. The numbers of pages is excluded from the calculation. The formula is:

(P/5) x f

The calculation for multi-authored book chapters will be the same as for journal articles, i.e. the value of f will be as in Table 3.

For example:

Thaman, Randolph R. and Elevitch, C.R. and Kennedy, J. (2006) Urban and homegarden agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: current status and future prospects. In: Tropical Home Gardens: A Time-Tested Example of Sustainable Agroforestry. Springer, Netherlands, pp. 25-41.

Springer is a B-ranked publisher. There are three authors, therefore this book chapter would attract a reward of (3000/5) x 0.5 = F$300 for each USP author.

Section 4. Procedure for claiming reward

Each year, usually by the end of March, the Research Office will circulate to all academic staff their publication record for the previous year deposited on USPERR. Academic staff must validate and sign the return to state that these publications meet the eligibility criteria. If there are any missing publications, staff must inform the Research Office immediately and enter the required data on to the USPERR repository within one month to be eligible for a reward. Academic staff must validate their USPERR outputs by September 1st to receive the award. The Research Office will collate the number of eligible publications, calculate the reward amount and, if this amount exceeds the budget, provide pro-rata rewards (total budget/total rewards * reward value in previous tables).

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