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Northumbria signs San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

18th July 2021

Northumbria has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which aims to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

DORA’s recommendations include the requirement to recognise the value and impact of all research outputs, not just publications. It also suggests consideration of a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice, rather than a focus on proxy and flawed measures of quality, such as publication in high impact factor journals.

The recommendation to sign DORA came from the University’s Scholarly Communications Group (SCG) and the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RaKE) Committee. George Marston, PVC Research and Innovation, Chair of the SCG and Joint Chair of RaKE said:

“Signing up to the principles of DORA aligns with our recent open research statement and our current review of University policies in this area. We are undertaking a review to ensure that we build these principles into research policy, culture and practices at Northumbria over the next 12 months.”

An internal working group has been set up, initially to review Northumbria’s existing research assessment policies and practices, with reference to how they currently align with DORA. An action plan will then be created with a specific timescale for incorporating the principles. Jennifer Stergiou, Director of Research and Innovation Services, Chair of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and a member of the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics said:

“As well as working towards a culture of good practice and encouraging open communication around research assessment, the action plan will recognise the need to raise awareness and offer guidance to improve understanding of ‘responsible metrics’ across the University.”

Interested in learning more about DORA? Visit the website or read the full declaration here.

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