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Universities challenge the impact factor

At the start of the 2020s, steps are being taken in some countries to improve the assessment of research.

  • Since the 2010s, several initiatives have been aimed at no longer basing appointments and promotions of researchers on quantitative publication indicators, such as their number and their "impact factor" (the main journal reputation indicator). The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) (2012), the Leiden Manifesto (2015) as well as the Hong Kong Principles (2020) all point in this direction.
  • In the Netherlands, the University of Utrecht, a signatory to DORA, announced in early 2022 that it is abandoning the impact factor. According to the project leader, this quantitative indicator does not "really reflect the quality of an individual researcher or academic" and, like the h-index, such criteria "have become a very sick model that goes beyond what is really relevant for science and putting science forward".
  • As of mid-2022, nearly 22 000 organisations or individuals around the world had signed DORA.

©Prescrire 1 February 2023

Source: "Universities challenge the impact factor" Prescrire International 2023; 32 (245): 53-54. Subscribers only.

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