The intersections between DORA, open scholarship, and equity

The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), published in May 2013, does not mention the term ‘open scholarship.’ And yet DORA and open scholarship are becoming increasingly entwined. DORA’s ambition is to improve research evaluation practices but the practicalities of implementation make it impossible to separate the evaluation of research from questions about who and what research is for, who gets to be involved, and how it should best be carried out, all of which have to take account of the power dynamics that shape the scholarly landscape.

Annual report: a recap of activities of the San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA) in 2019

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.

DORA – accentuating the positive

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

Annual report: a recap of DORA activities in 2018

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.

You’ve signed DORA, now what?

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.”