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Reforming research assessment practices

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After months of negotiations, the final version of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, conceived by the European Commission, the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe and more than European 350 organizations, has been made public on July 20th. It describes a set of principles and commitments for reforming the way research performing organizations, research projects, and individual researchers and their teams are evaluated.

The following commitments are at the core of the research assessment reform agreement:

  • Recognise the diversity of contributions to, and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research
  • Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators
  • Abandon inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publication-based metrics, in particular inappropriate uses of Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-index
  • Avoid the use of rankings of research organisations in research assessment

Organizations interested in joining the coalition can sign the agreement starting 28 September. Among the organisations having expressed interest in being part of a coalition on reforming research assessment are the BIH QUEST Center for Responsible Research @Charité Germany and the Collaboration Platform of the Berlin University Alliance.

Signatories will work together to enable systemic reform on the basis of common principles within an agreed timeframe, and to facilitate exchange of information and mutual learning.


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