DORA - The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

DORA - The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment


DORA at The University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen became a signatory of DORA in July 2020.

What is DORA?

The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a worldwide, cross-disciplinary initiative which recognises the need to improve the ways in which scholarly research outputs are evaluated and seeks to encourage institutions, researchers, funders, publishers, and other key stake holders to develop and promote best practice.

Watch our short introduction to DORA video on Toolkit

While DORA makes 18 recommendations for change, the key themes are;

  • Eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factor (JIF), in considering funding, appointments, and promotions
  • Assess research on its own merits rather than on the journal in which it is published
  • Capitalize on opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits in articles and exploring new indicators of significance and impact)

The University should;

  • Be explicit about criteria used in recruitment and promotion decisions with the emphasis on scientific content of research outputs rather than publication metrics or publication source
  • In assessment of research, consider the value and impact of all research outputs not limited to publications, as well as a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice

Researchers should;

  • Make assessments based on scientific content rather than publication metrics, when involved in committees making decisions about funding, recruitment and promotion
  • Cite primary literature in which observations are first reported rather than reviews in order to give credit where credit is due
  • Use a range of article metrics and indicators on personal/supporting statements, as evidence of the impact of individual published articles and other research outputs
  • Challenge research assessment practices that rely inappropriately on JIF, and promote and teach best practice that focuses on the value and influence of specific research outputs

Useful links

Metrics Toolkit Learn more about specific metrics, and what they do and do not measure

Altmetrics The University of Aberdeen has subscribed to Altmetric to allow our researchers to discover the online attention their research has received, to evidence potential impact and to provide additional evidence when applying for funding