Driving Institutional Change for Research Assessment Reform

October 21 – 23, 2019

Improving research assessment

Academic institutions and funders assess their scientists’ research outputs to help allocate their limited resources. Research assessments are codified in policies and enacted through practices. Both can be problematic: policies if they do not accurately reflect institutional mission and values; and practices if they do not reflect institutional policies.

Even if new policies and practices are developed and introduced, their adoption often requires significant cultural change and buy-in from all relevant parties – applicants, reviewers and decision makers.

We will discuss how to develop and adopt new research assessment policies and practices through panel discussions, short plenary talks and breakout sessions. We will use the levels of intervention described in the “Changing a Research Culture” pyramid (Nosek, 2019), to organize the breakout sessions.

We want your input on the agenda:

  • Looking at the brainstorming sessions, are there questions you would want to include?
  • Are there other topics we should consider for brainstorming sessions and what questions would be discussed?
  • What’s missing from the panel discussions, short talks and brainstorming sessions?
  • Webcast

    Items marked with will be webcast (check back for details). Join the conversation now with #AssessingResearch on social media!

    Monday, October 21, 2019
    5:00 pm Reception, Great Hall
    6:00 pm Dinner, Dining Room
    7:00 pm Opening Remarks, Cowan Auditorium
    7:20 pm

    Keynotes, Cowan Auditorium

    • Erin O’Shea (HHMI President)
      HHMI’s approach to evaluating scientists
    • Erin Mckiernan (UNAM)
      How the journal impact factor is used in review, promotion, and tenure in the United States and Canada
    • Paula Stephan (Georgia State University)
      How we can change the research assessment culture
    8:20 pm Joint Q&A, Cowan Auditorium
    8:45 pm

    Evening wrap-up, Cowan Auditorium
    Stephen Curry (DORA)

    9:00 – 11:00 pm Social, The Pilot Lounge
    Tuesday, October 22, 2019
    7:00 am Breakfast, Dining Room
    8:30 am

    How to develop new research assessment policies and practices
      Panel Discussion, Cowan Auditorium

    • Erika Shugart (American Society for Cell Biology), moderator
    • Stephen Curry (DORA and Imperial College)
    • Frank Miedema (UMC Utrecht)
    • Sandra Schmid (UT Southwestern Medical Center)
    • Miriam Kip (BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research)
    • Omar Quintero (University of Richmond)
    • Needhi Bhalla (University of California, Santa Cruz)
    9:30 am

    Breakout Sessions

    Participants will work in preassigned groups for all breakout sessions. Each group will have a designated discussion leader and note taker. To encourage open and honest discussion, breakout sessions will be held under the Chatham House Rule; information shared in breakout sessions may NOT be attributed to the speaker.

    Breakout topic 1. Infrastructure – using working groups to establish policies and practices

    1. How might institutional working groups be established? What different stakeholders need to be at the table?
    2. What information and support do working groups need to be positioned to evaluate research assessment practices?
    3. Are there any unintended consequences of using working groups to effect change? What would they be?
    4. How might working groups establish new policies?

    Breakout topic 2. User experience

    1. Many things can prejudice assessors: gender, race, ethnicity, institutional reputation, and more. How do organizations stay aware of and responsive to barriers the different groups might encounter?
    2. What parts of the research assessment process can lead to assessor bias?
    3. What nudges can an organization consider to influence the behavior of individuals submitting applications and those assessing them?
    4. How do organizations make it easy for different groups to understand and implement their policies and practices?
    10:45 am Break, Great Hall
    11:00 am Reports from Breakout Sessions, Cowan Auditorium
    12:45 pm Lunch
    1:45 pm Discussion of Morning, Cowan Auditorium
    2:15 pm

    How to adopt new research assessment practices
      Short Plenary Talks, Cowan Auditorium

    • Lou Woodley (CSCCE)
      How systems thinking applies to research assessment reform
    • Brian Belcher (Royal Roads University)
      How conceptual clarity can improve how we assess research
    • David Mellor (Center for Open Science)
      Lessons learned from open science initiatives about how to change research culture
    • George Santangelo (NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis)
      Ways to measure impact without the JIF
    • Ruth Schmidt (Institute of Design IIT)
      How to apply a user-design approach to research assessment reform
    3:15 pm Break, Great Hall
    3:30 pm

    Breakout Sessions

    Breakout topic 3. Communities

    1. How can the researcher community encourage institutions to establish new research assessment policies and practices?
    2. Once alignment between policies and practices has been achieved, how can organizations build the support of the research community to make good practices normative?
    3. Are there other ways an organization could more clearly articulate to the research community how their priorities translate into practices?
    4. How can different stakeholder communities, including research institutions, funders, scholarly societies, publishers, and researchers, signal their priorities, policies, and practices to each other?

    Breakout topic 4. Incentives

    1. What are the incentives for funders and research institutions to align their research assessment policies and practices?
    2. How do incentives differ between assessors and those being assessed?
    3. How can funders and research institutions incentivize the behaviors they would like to promote?

    Breakout topic 5. Policy

    1. Is the vision, mission, and values of an organization accurately reflected in its policies? If not, what is the process by which policies can be modified?
    2. What are the benefits of publicly sharing an organization’s policies? What are the risks?
    3. What are the benefits of publicly sharing an organization’s practices? What are the risks?
    4. Is there a role for funders to influence how an organization’s policies are translated into its research assessment practices? Why or why not?
    4:45 pm Break, Great Hall
    5:00 pm Reports from Breakout Sessions, Cowan Auditorium
    6:00 pm Discussion of Afternoon, Cowan Auditorium
    7:00 pm Dinner, Dining Room
    8:30 – 11:00 pm Social, The Pilot Lounge
    Wednesday, October 23, 2019
    8:30 am

    Applying systems thinking to research assessment reform
    Introduction of Breakout Sessions, Cowan Auditorium

    Research assessment reform involves multiple stakeholders, including funders, research institutes, libraries, publishers, and researchers. How can stakeholders work together to implement change in research assessment practices? What do different stakeholder groups need from each other to succeed?

    Participants will work in preassigned groups to discuss what is needed from different stakeholders to overcome specific obstacles in research assessment reform. Breakout session topics will be selected based on some of the ideas presented in the participant commentaries.

    9:00 am

    Breakout Sessions
    Information on breakout session topics will be available in early October.

    10:45 am Reports from Breakout Sessions, Cowan Auditorium
    11:30 am Lunch, Dining Room
    12:30 pm Meeting Reflections and Next Steps, Cowan Auditorium
    1:00 pm Departures