We support DORA

The assessment of scholarly research and researchers' performance should be based on more diverse outputs than research articles. Therefore, the Research Council of Norway supports The San Fransisco Declaration on Research Assessment – the DORA Declaration.

In 2018, the Research Council of Norway signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The declaration contains a set of recommendations on good practice for quality assessments and encourages not to use the Journal Impact factor (JIF) when project funding is awarded or when institutions are hiring and promoting academic staff. Instead, academic quality and achieved research results should be assessed on a broader basis with a focus on content.

The idea of writing the declaration was developed in 2012 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in San Francisco as a reaction to the extensive use of journal-based metrics in funding, appointment and promotion considerations. DORA has today become a worldwide initiative covering all scientific disciplines and key stakeholders, including funders, publishers, academic associations and institutions, and researchers.

The Research Council has incorporated DORA's recommendations into our assessment criteria:

  1. When a panel considers a project application, the CV and track record of the project manager and the project team are only part of the assessment, and not the most important aspect. We emphasize that the experts should first and foremost assess the content of the project proposal.
  2. We urge the experts not to emphasize the number of publications, but to look at the list of the 10 publications the researchers themselves list as most relevant.
  3. We have customized CV templates to make it easier to include other research results in addition to publications – e.g. datasets, software, community impact activities, etc.
  4. Journal Impact Factor should not be used

The Research Council is also working on how to further develop our instruments related to research evaluations and funding assessments in accordance with DORA, and we participate in relevant forums nationally and internationally.

We have also participated in a working group led by Universities Norway (UHR) to prepare a metrics (NOR-CAM-Norwegian Career Assessment Matrix) for more flexible assessment of academic career paths, which will be useful for hiring, promotion and financing. We are in the process of looking at how the NOR-CAM can be implemented in dialogue with the research institutions.

Messages at time of print 30 May 2024, 05:32 CEST

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