Online workshop - Research evaluation. Developments, Challenges, Practices

Bucharest, July 21, 2022


Ioana Spanache

8/1/20222 min read

The event reunited over 120 participants from universities, research institutes, and other organizations.

At the European and international level, debates regarding the need to reform the research evaluation system have become increasingly intense. One of the frequently cited reasons relates to the fact that the current system is considered to be based largely on the impact factors associated with academic journals, rather than the content and added value of the publication in question.

And the alternative proposed through documents such as A New ERA for Research and Innovation and the Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe aims at a system oriented towards recognizing in particular quality, impact, but also Open Science practices, leadership, and society's involvement in the research process and collaboration with industry. An assessment system that takes into account a greater variety of research outputs and research activities and allows for a greater diversity of career paths.

In this context, the Research Evaluation Workshop. Developments, Challenges, Practices aimed to open a series of discussions on international and European challenges regarding research evaluation (people, institutions and funding). And it had as its central starting point aspects related to the current consultative process facilitated by the European Commission for the transformation of the assessment system (Towards a reform of the Research Assessment System), but also regarding other major initiatives such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the Leiden Manifesto for Research Evaluation Metrics and the Hong Kong Principles on Research Evaluation.

Listed below are the 10 principles related to the document developed by the aforementioned European Commission:

  1. Compliance with ethics and integrity rules and practices

  2. Ensuring the freedom of scientific research

  3. Respecting the autonomy of research organizations -- Ensuring the independence and transparency of the data, infrastructure and criteria necessary to evaluate the research and to determine the impact of the research;

  4. Focusing research evaluation criteria on quality

  5. Recognize contributions that lead to an advance in scientific knowledge, as well as the (potential) impact of research results

  6. Diversity, inclusion and collaboration

  7. Recognize the diversity of research activities and practices, with a diversity of outcomes// Reward their early sharing and open collaboration.

  8. Use evaluation criteria and processes that respect the variety of scientific disciplines, types of research, and stages of research careers, and that recognize multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary as well as cross-sectoral approaches.

  9. Recognize and value the diversity of research roles and careers, including roles outside academia. Leverage the skills, competencies and merits of individual researchers as well as team science and collaboration.

  10. Ensuring gender equality, equal opportunities and inclusion.

Further, the Commission intends to serve as a host for discussions on this topic. And, as a result, he invited various actors with the aim of taking the discussion further, in the form of a coalition of organizations to participate in the elaboration of a draft agreement based on the respective scoping report. On July 4, this draft agreement will become public, and in the fall of this year, all interested organizations will be able to sign it, in order to implement the 10 principles mentioned previously and a set of 4 basic commitments. This set involves, among others, aspects such as: the recognition of a greater diversity of contributions in research, the evaluation of research on qualitative criteria; abandoning the inappropriate use in evaluation of metrics such as JIF and the Hirsch index and stopping the use of international rankings/rankings in evaluation.

The complete list of organizations that have chosen to join this effort, as well as other relevant information in this regard, can be consulted by accessing the following web page: link.