DORA Initiatives Meeting: CLACSO-FOLEC on responsible assessment and open science

Each quarter, DORA holds a Community of Practice (CoP) meeting for National and International Initiatives working to address responsible research assessment reform. This CoP is a space for initiatives to learn from each other, make connections with like-minded organizations, and collaborate on projects or topics of common interest. Meeting agendas are shaped by participants. If you lead an initiative, coalition, or organization working to improve research assessment and are interested in joining the group, please find more information here.

During the DORA National and International Initiatives Discussion Group meeting on May 14, 2024, members of the group discussed changes in research policy happening at each of their respective organizations. The group also heard a presentation from Laura Rovelli, coordinator of the Latin American Forum for Research Assessment (FOLEC) from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). Rovelli discussed the importance of open infrastructures and evaluation systems in research, noting the challenges faced in Latin America in accessing information from the US and Europe due to the privatization of research information.

Rovelli stressed the importance of open research information having transparent evidence and inclusive data, values that are supported by the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information. This declaration was created in 2023 by a group of over 25 research information experts and promotes research openness and sustainability of infrastructures for open research information.

Based on a recent collective blog post published in Leiden Madtrics, Rovelli discussed why inclusion and diversity require multiple information sources, and made the argument for:

  • Increasing the relevant documents, especially from under-represented areas
  • Ensuring “Richness of metadata,” as a single source cannot support all research information
  • Preserving a variety of information sources such as histories, languages etc.

Rovelli also touched on how responsible research assessment and open science are interconnected and strengthening one can help improve the other. She discussed FOLEC’s support of instituting a decentralized and federated research information source, noting that data sources should have both regional/local and international repositories.

Other ongoing projects at CLACSO include the AGoRRA Project with RoRI UKRI, and a new publication with UNESCO, Debates actuales y reformas en curso en la evaluación responsable de la investigación en América Latina y el Caribe (English translation: “Current debates and ongoing reforms in the responsible evaluation of research in Latin America and the Caribbean”), discussing responsible research assessment reforms in national evaluation systems in Latin American countries.

We also heard updates from other organizations, which are briefly summarized below:

  • INORMS Research Evaluation Group (INORMS REG) has recently created a forum event about responsible research assessment, and has been holding community calls for the More Than Our Rank initiative.
  • University of Leeds highlighted that they have signed the Knowledge Equity Network; a declaration that promotes collaborative sharing of knowledge globally, aims to address pressing challenges, and supports a culture of openness, diversity, and inclusion within the higher education sector.
  • The organization Recognition & Rewards conducted their Recognition & Rewards culture barometer survey, which yielded data on “the state of affairs concerning a different way of recognising and rewarding academic work within institutions.” A report will be written and published with the results. They have also organized a recognition and rewards festival with workshops that will be held in November, 2024.
  • Universities Norway is part of a CoARA working group that is conducting a survey on how academic careers are assessed. They also highlighted NOR-CAM: “A toolbox for recognition and rewards in academic careers.”
  • Projeto Metricas presented on DORA principles to the Ministry of Education (MEC) as part of its celebration of 20 years of the current evaluation system, noting they are providing consultancy to the Ministry for the redesigning of the system. They also presented about DORA values at Fiocruz, the largest public network of biomedical institutions in Brazil.
  • As for DORA, we have released a guidance document on research indicators, a report on supporting responsible assessment practices in pre-award funding processes, and a report on monitoring the effectiveness of narrative CVs.

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Casey Donahoe is DORA’s Policy Associate

Casey Donahoe
Casey Donahoe is a DORA Policy Associate (2023-2024).

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