Over the past year, it has become apparent that the declaration represents just one part of DORA’s portfolio of activities. In 2019, DORA added resources and examples of good practice to the web page, organized sessions at academic conferences, published perspective pieces, hosted virtual events, and co-sponsored our first meeting with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
We are pleased to announce a new briefing document from DORA and colleagues, “Rethinking Research Assessment: Ideas for Action,” which provides five design principles to help universities and research institutions improve their research assessment policies and practices.
DORA launched a new virtual discussion series for public and private research funders on Wednesday, March 26. The goal of the series is to increase communication about research assessment reform by providing a space for funders to share and discuss new initiatives. We hope this will ultimately serve as a platform to accelerate the spread of good research assessment policies and practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily life around the world, forcing individuals and organizations to adapt rapidly to unanticipated circumstances. The changes in universities and research institutions have been dramatic.
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is well known for its strong position on the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics in decisions on hiring, promotion, or funding of academics. As such, it is sometimes taken to be an initiative merely focused on criticising the undue influence of one specific metric, the journal impact factor (JIF). But to see DORA just in those terms overlooks the many positive prescriptions that the declaration lays out for how to reform research assessment
In many ways, 2018 was a groundbreaking year for the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). It marked the fifth anniversary of the declaration’s release, and we were re-invigorated with a newly formed steering committee, chaired by Prof. Stephen Curry, and a community manager, Dr. Anna Hatch, all determined to effect real change in the scholarly community.
For the past five years, the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) has been a beacon illuminating the problems due to the excessive attention paid to journal metrics and pointing the way to improvements that can be made by all stakeholders involved in evaluating academic research and scholarship. Researchers, funders, universities and research institutes, publishers and metrics providers have all committed – at a minimum – not to “use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions.”
We are pleased to announce the formation of an international advisory board to provide strategic guidance to DORA and to further our vision of advancing practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all disciplines.
We are pleased to share three slide-decks with the DORA community! Science is communicated in part through presentations, and we hope that our supporters will feel empowered to initiate conversations about research assessment whenever they give a talk. We have three options available for download.
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.