The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is 10 years old on 16 May 2023.
In 2012, a group of scholarly journal editors and publishers met to discuss ways of improving how scientific research is evaluated by funding agencies, academic institutions, and other parties.
Journal Impact Factors, which were originally created as tools to help librarians identify journals to purchase, were increasingly being misused as a proxy for measuring the quality of individual research articles, and even used in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions.
Based on an imperative that scientific outputs should be assessed fairly and evaluated wisely, in 2013 a number of recommendations were made:
- To exclude journal-based metrics, particularly Journal Impact Factors, in decisions relating to funding, appointments, and promotion.
- To assess research on its own merits by evaluating the scientific content, rather than basing decisions on the journal in which it was published.
- To capitalise on the opportunities provided by online publication, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact.
Over 23,000 individuals and organizations in 160 countries have signed DORA to date, of which Oxford Brookes is one!
Signatories of DORA agree to move away from assessing research quality based on where the research was published, and instead focus on individual merits, such as influence on policy or practice, or contribution to science.
Read more about Brookes’ commitment to responsible metrics.
There are a number of events commemorating 10 years of DORA, with an online talk hosted by the University of Derby, another DORA signatory. If you’d like to know more about DORA or the practice of Responsible Metrics, please contact the Scholarly Communications Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Aaron Worsley, Research Liaison Lead