The Declaration on Research Assessment grew out of conversations among journal editors and publishers at the December, 2012 meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. For some time scientists have been concerned about using measurements of journal impact and applying those measurements to individual articles and their authors. A member of this concerned group was JHU’s Trina Schroer, co-editor of Traffic.
The Impact Factor (found in Journal Citation Reports) is a metric that describes how often the articles in a journal are cited. The more citations a journal gets, the greater its impact or reputation. Over time that measure has been applied to individual articles and their authors. Many authors have discussed this and suggested other ways to evaluate an individual researcher’s work.
DORA goes even further. Its 18 recommendations for transforming research assessment include changes beyond not using journal metrics for individual evaluation. DORA suggests:
- Include more than research articles in evaluation. Items like software and datasets should be considered.
- Publishers are encouraged to de-emphasize the Impact Factor in their advertising and to make more article-level metrics available.
- Authors are encouraged to avoid citing reviews. Citing the original papers will give credit to the original articles and authors.
32 other individuals associated with Johns Hopkins have signed the Declaration on Research Assessment. Sounds like a movement has started.