Driving Institutional Change for Research Assessment Reform

October 21 – 23, 2019

Webcast Archive

Recording of the sessions that were webcast are available on YouTube. Watch now!


What was this meeting about?

  • DORA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) convened a diverse group of stakeholders to consider how to improve research assessment policies and practices.
  • By exploring different approaches to cultural and systems change, we discussed practical ways to reduce the reliance on proxy measures of quality and impact in hiring, promotion, and funding decisions. To focus on practical steps forward that will improve research assessment practices, we did not discuss the well-documented deficiencies of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) as a measure of quality.

What was discussed?

  • What are the different approaches to developing, introducing, and implementing new research assessment policies and practices?
  • How might institutions align their research assessment practices with their values and policies?
  • What obstacles prevent change from taking place? What can positively influence behavior?
  • Once alignment between policy and practice has been achieved, how do we build community support to make it normative?

What do we hope to achieve?

  • Encourage stakeholders at all levels, including departments, institutions, and funders to establish working groups to evaluate research assessment practices, ask how well practices align with policies, and develop and recommend new research assessment policies and practices. One important goal is to reduce the role of journal-based metrics and other proxy measures of research quality and impact in assessment.
  • Inspire stakeholders to look to culture change experts to help them translate new policies into practice.
  • Foster multi-stakeholder collaborations in research assessment reform.

How can I participate now?

  • In-person participation was invitation-only due to space and budget constraints.
  • Everyone across all academic disciplines is welcome to engage online before, during, and after the meeting. Here’s how:
    • Tune in to watch! Select sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube.
    • Join the conversation on Twitter any time using the hashtag #AssessingResearch.
    • Let us know what you think! We encourage everyone to review the agenda, read the participant commentary, and look at the background readings (which provide insight into the current gaps between policy and practice). Please feel welcome to contact DORA directly and share thoughts inspired by what you read.
  • While the emphasis of the meeting was on institutions in the United States, we hope the resources and webcast will inspire conversation more broadly.