Published — 2019

Research Assessment in the Transition to Open Science: 2019 European University Association Open Science and Access Survey Results.

Position papers  For:Research institutes

The European University Association (EUA) published a report based on the results of the 2019 EUA Open Science and Open Access Survey on Research Assessment. The report provided an overview of the current state of research assessment at 260 European universities across 32 countries. The report discusses why and how European institutions are reviewing their evaluation practices. The aim of the report is to inform and strengthen the discussion by gathering and sharing information about current and future university approaches to research assessment. The survey was developed and implemented by the EUA Secretariat in collaboration with the members of the EUA Expert Subgroup on Research Assessment and EUA Expert Group Science 2.0/Open Science.

Previous EUA surveys focused on Open Access policies at European universities. Between 2014 and 2018 these surveys showed limited progress on making research publications and data openly available, while persistent challenges remained unresolved. One of the main challenges identified were university approaches to research assessment, which were found to offer insufficient incentives and rewards for making research outputs openly available. Therefore, the EUA decided to revise the 2019 edition of the survey and gather more information about university approaches to research assessment.

The findings in the 2019 report provide an overview of the current state of research assessment at European universities and the motivation for institutions to review their evaluation approaches. The report shows that 89% of respondents have research assessment procedures in place and 9% are in the process of developing assessment procedures. “In summary, university approaches to research assessment are primarily, but not exclusively carried out at institutional and faculty/department level. Several institutional actors were mentioned as being involved in defining these processes, while the influence of external actors such as governments and research-funding organizations was also acknowledged.”

The report also gives an overview of how different academic activities are weighted during review of researchers careers. “In summary, the survey results show that publishing research outcomes and attracting external research funding are the most important academic activities when it comes to building a university research career. A range of other activities such as research impact and knowledge transfer are also commonly, albeit to a lesser extent, acknowledged by respondents. Open Science and Access activities are the lowest ranked category and are only ‘(very) important’ at just over a third of universities, which is roughly on a par with the number of institutions who give little or even no importance to this category when evaluating researchers.”

Saenen B, Morais R, Vinciane Gaillard V, Borrell-Damián L (2019). Research Assessment in the Transition to Open Science 2019 EUA Open Science and Access Survey Results.