OASPA is pleased to announce our formal endorsement of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
Developed in 2012 at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco, DORA is a cross-disciplinary global initiative seeking to improve the ways in which scholarly research outputs are evaluated. OASPA is delighted to join over 11,000 individuals and 445 organisations including the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, and OASPA members the Public Library of Science (PLOS), Hindawi, eLife, F1000, and The Company of Biologists as fellow signatories of the declaration.
As the declaration describes, it is crucial for today’s wide variety of scholarly outputs to be measured accurately and evaluated wisely. As a method of assessment of outputs, the Journal Impact Factor has been increasingly understood as having a number of limitations; most importantly, over-emphasising the venue of publication of research findings rather than the research itself, and introducing perverse incentives into the scholarly reward system. DORA therefore recommends:
‘ – The need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;
– the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published; and
– the need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact).’
Paul Peters, President of OASPA and Chief Executive Officer of Hindawi, said: ‘As an association of Open Access we have seen firsthand how the reliance on Impact Factors for the assessment of researchers has slowed innovation in scholarly publishing.’
OASPA hopes that our endorsement of this important initiative will contribute to encouraging improved practices in research assessment.
The full declaration can be read here.