I first wrote about the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) when it was launched in May 2013. DORA is a simple statement asking the different players in the business of academic research to free themselves from the damaging effects of relying on journal impact factors when assessing researchers and their research. It suggests straightforward ways in which they might do so.
But in the three years since then, a dispiritingly small number of universities in the UK (and elsewhere) have signed up. In a piece in this week’s Research Fortnight I invite the remainder to show their support – or to demonstrate how their assessment practices take them beyond DORA.
I don’t think for a moment that most universities aren’t interested in doing a good job of evaluating their researchers or the work that they do. My piece isn’t about apportioning blame. But impact factors remain a deeply embedded problem in academic culture and this anniversary is an opportunity for our universities to show how they are tackling it.