As a graduate student, I signed DORA to speak out against the misuse of the impact factor. Even with my career before me, I knew that something about the way research was being evaluated in hiring, promotion, and funding decisions needed to change. I had wanted to be evaluated based on the quality of my research, how it was re-used by my colleagues around the world, and how others shared and discussed it online.
Research articles are one of the main outputs of scholarly research and factor heavily in hiring, promotion, and funding decisions in academia. On September 11, the chair of the DORA steering committee, Prof. Stephen Curry, interviewed the Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature, Sir Phillip Campbell, about the role of publishers in research assessment.
In celebration of DORA’s fifth anniversary, we are hosting a four-part interview series that focuses on the implementation of good practices in research assessment. We are pleased to announce our third interview is with Sir Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature. He will answer questions about the role of publishing in research evaluation. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions.
Preprints are good for science and the evaluation of scientists. They remove barriers to the dissemination of work among the scientific community, promoting earlier error detection, increased feedback and the potential for collaboration, faster transfer of ideas among labs and fields, and good practices in evaluation (reading a paper rather than making a snap judgement based on where it’s published).
Obtaining grant funding is often seen as a critical step for career advancement, and the presence or absence of external funding can influence hiring and promotion choices. The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance has a three-step evaluation process for its awards.
We are pleased to announce our second interview is with Dr. Shahid Jameel, Chief Executive Officer of the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance. He will answer questions about his experience with research evaluation in the life sciences and about making funding decisions at the India Alliance. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview.
Charité asks candidates not just to list their top papers, but also to explain their role in each one, and justify why each constitutes a significant advance to research or clinical practice. This helps committees to see beyond brand name journals, and into the specific skills individuals offer. The portal requires applicants provide a short summary describing how they have pursued the objectives of Open Science including preregistration of studies and publication of negative results. They also outline important collaborative projects, and interactions with stakeholders in industry, patient care, and policy. Questions like these provide insight into individuals’ abilities and personal context, which neither publication lists nor journal impact factors can provide.
On behalf of the steering committee, I am pleased to announce a roadmap outlining DORA’s strategic plan to accelerate global research assessment reform over the next two years. The roadmap recognizes that signing the declaration is only a first step to creating meaningful cultural change in the scholarly community. Real change requires action at institutional, funder, national and international levels.
Signing the 2013 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is an important way for individuals and organizations to publicly acknowledge their commitment to improve research by strengthening research assessment. But it is only a first step. The next and more challenging steps require changes in academic culture to ensure that hiring, promotion, and funding decisions focus on the qualities of research that are most desirable – insight, impact, reliability and re-usability – rather than on questionable proxies.
We are pleased to release new badges for individuals and organizations that have signed the declaration. The badges show support for DORA, raise awareness about research assessment, and serve as a conversation starter with individuals or organizations that have not heard about DORA yet.