– Research evaluation has been too heavily focused on scientific publications and their impact factors. This has been found to increase quantitative results at the expense of the quality of research. It is therefore important that DORA promotes a more diverse and fair evaluation of research, says Jari Kuusisto, Rector of the University of Vaasa.
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) aims at responsible and fair evaluation of researchers and research. The Declaration provides recommendations for different actors, such as universities and research funders. The Declaration has also been translated into Finnish. It has so far been signed by more than 2500 organisations and over 19,000 individuals around the world. In Finland, the Declaration has been signed by the University of Vaasa, several other universities, the Academy of Finland and the Delegation of Finnish Academic Societies.
Researchers should not be evaluated solely on the basis of journal-based metrics
The DORA Declaration emphasises scientific quality as the primary criteria for assessing publications. Researcher's competence and research output should therefore be assessed as a whole, and not just on the basis of the journal in which the research was published.
According to the Declaration, when evaluating researchers' articles, the use of journal-based metrics such as the Journal Impact Factor, which are related only to publication channels, should be avoided.
The declaration lists eighteen recommendations for different actors. The recommendations for institutions emphasise the transparency and clarity of the criteria used in the hiring, tenure and promotion decisions. They also stress the importance of considering the value and impact of all research outputs, including datasets and software, and the use of a wide range of qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.
The University of Vaasa has already acted according to the spirit of the DORA Declaration for some time. For example, in its recruitment, career development and promotion decisions, the University has followed the recommendations of the Declaration and the principles of the national recommendation on responsible researcher evaluation in Finland.
– Through Dora, our recruitment process also emphasises a comprehensive assessment of a researcher's competence, says Rector Kuusisto.
Rector Jari Kuusisto, University of Vaasa
Tel +358 29 449 8291, jari.kuusisto (@) uwasa.fi