The Senate of the University of Maribor has acceded to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
The Senate of the University of Maribor has acceded to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) from 2013. This makes the University of Maribor the first Slovene research institution that will accede to this worldwide initiative for improving assessment methods of research work and appropriate bibliometric assessment modification with qualitative judgement.
The Declaration was developed in 2012 by the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco and was published in 2013. It has become a worldwide initiative covering all scholarly disciplines and all key stakeholders including funders, publishers, professional societies, institutions, and researchers. DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated and provides various recommendations in this matter.
The main efforts from the Declaration pertain to:
- 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).
Today, the Senate of the University of Maribor has also confirmed the commitment of the University of Maribor to the principles of the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics, published in Nature, 23 April 2015. Besides DORA, the Leiden Manifesto is another high-profile initiative for improving the quality of research work.
In short, the principles regarding research evaluation from the Leiden Manifesto are the following:
1. Quantitative evaluation should support qualitative, expert assessment.
2. Measure performance against the research missions of the institution, group or researcher.
3. Protect excellence in locally relevant research.
4. Keep data collection and analytical processes open, transparent and simple.
5. Allow those evaluated to verify data and analysis.
6. Account for variation by field in publication and citation practices.
7. Base assessment of individual researchers on a qualitative judgement of their portfolio.
8. Avoid misplaced concreteness and false precision.
9. Recognize the systemic effects of assessment and indicators.
10. Scrutinize indicators regularly and update them.
By supporting the principles of the Leiden Manifesto and by signing the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, the University of Maribor demonstrates its commitment to a responsible use of metrics in research evaluation, understanding variation by field, as regards bibliometric analyses as well as issues that can arise from bibliometric assessment of research that is not supported by an appropriate qualitative evaluation.