Engagement and outreach policy for organizational signatories to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment


The statement below clarifies DORA’s engagement and outreach policy with signatory organizations to maintain their commitments to the declaration.

Organizations sign the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) to publicly express their commitment to improve research and researcher assessment within their institutions.

Recognizing that signatories may be at different stages of research assessment reform, that real change takes time (especially in large organizations), and that what constitutes good practice in research assessment is a matter of active discussion, DORA does not insist that organizations meet specific process criteria in order to obtain or retain the status of a signatory.

Instead, DORA aims to foster and support an international community of learning that is committed in good faith to meaningful improvement in research and researcher assessment. To help realize that aim, DORA asks organizations that sign the declaration as of November 7, 2022, to share a public statement detailing their commitment to DORA and responsible research assessment to their communities. DORA encourages organizations that have previously signed the declaration to do likewise. We believe that one of the most effective ways to ensure effective implementation is for signatories to hold themselves accountable to their research staff and students through ongoing dialogue and transparency; accordingly, DORA also expects organizational signatories to listen to and keep their communities up to date as implementation of the principles of the declaration proceeds.

DORA does not accredit compliance of signatories. However, we stand ready to provide information and advice to signatory organizations embarking on the process of implementing their commitment to the declaration.

Further, to help build momentum for change, DORA will also seek opportunities to publicize good practices developed or adopted by signatory and non-signatory organizations.

In cases where credible public information (for example, multiple independent reports, or newspaper articles) indicates that an organization may not be living up to the expectations of DORA as outlined above, the executive board will contact the organization to seek clarification and, if necessary, engage in constructive dialogue to provide clearer guidance on responsible research assessment practices. As far as possible, dialogue between DORA and a signatory organization will be conducted discreetly. However, DORA reserves the right, especially where it is in the interests of the broader scholarly community or of the credibility of the declaration, to comment publicly on the issues at stake.

We believe that this approach represents a responsible balance between encouraging adoption of DORA and supporting signatory organizations so that they can make change.

This policy will be reviewed in December 2023 based on learnings from its implementation.

Policy approved on October 31, 2022.

PDF version of this policy.