#sfDORA Interviews: Research Evaluation and Publishing

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.

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Preprints in Academic Hiring

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).

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Simple Questions, Big Insights: Charité Uses Bio-sketch Questions to Recruit Faculty

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.

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Introducing a Roadmap for DORA

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.

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DORA Roadmap: A two-year strategic plan for advancing global research assessment reform at the institutional, national, and funder level

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.

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