DORA’s 10th Anniversary in Bilbao: the starting point of a new journey

A DORAat10 Local Event Report

In May 2023, DORA celebrated it’s 10th Anniversary with two plenary sessions and a decentralized weeklong program of local events organized by community members from around the world. Event organizers were given the option to write brief reports on their events that summarize key takeaways and recommendations.

By SOMMa Open Science Working Group

  • Eva Mendez, representing CoARA and Pilar Paneque, director of the ANECA participated in the event
  • The round table discussion “The reform of science evaluation and its impact on attracting and retaining talent” was led by several experts in the field

Representatives of the 65 entities that form part of the Alliance of Excellence of Centres Severo Ochoa Centres and María de Maeztu Units (SOMMa) met in Bilbao in an event organised by the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) and Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) to analyse the latest trends in the evaluation of scientific research.

To celebrate the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the SOMMa Alliance brought its community of open science professionals together with experts on new policies in research evaluation to discuss their impact on the research activity and the promotion of research careers.

SOMMa actively participated in the process of drafting the first National Open Science Strategy (ENCA) for the period between 2023 and 2027, drawn up by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Universities.

During the meeting, the SOMMa open science working group and its members assessed the possibility of SOMMa becoming a member of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA).

Eva Méndez, representing the International Coalition for the Advancement of Research Assessment (CoARA), presented on the agreement, which provides a basis for promoting the necessary reforms to ensure that research assessment is based on qualitative criteria.

Pilar Paneque, director of the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) shared with the audience the role of quality agencies in the reform of research assessment.

This was followed by the round table “The reform of science evaluation and its impact on attracting and retaining talent” with the participation of Eva Méndez, representing CoARA, Ismael Ràfols from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden University, Pilar Rico, head of the Open Access Unit FECYT and Fernando Orejas, expert in the area of information technologies. During the round table, the Open Science group considered that the following commitments would apply to SOMMa:

  • Recognise the diversity of contributions to and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research
  • Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators
  • Abandon inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publication-based metrics, in particular, inappropriate uses of Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-index
  • Commit resources to reform research assessment as is needed to achieve the organisational changes committed to
  • Raise awareness of research assessment reform and provide transparent communication, guidance, and training on assessment criteria and processes as well as their use
  • Exchange practices and experiences to enable mutual learning within and beyond the Coalition
  • Communicate progress made on adherence to the Principles and implementation of the Commitments

In conclusion of the event, the working group recommended that SOMMa join CoARA. This will be the starting point for a new 5-year journey.

Haley Hazlett
Dr. Haley Hazlett has been DORA's Program Manager since 2021. She was a DORA Policy Intern before taking the role of Program Manager. She obtained her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2021 and is passionate about improving research culture for all researchers.

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