Gathering input for an online dashboard highlighting good practices in research assessment | DORA

“As institutions experiment with and refine academic assessment policies and practices, there is a need for knowledge sharing and tools to support culture change. On September 9, 2021, we held a community call to gather early-stage input for a new resource: an interactive online dashboard to identify, track, and display good practices for academic career assessment. The dashboard is one of the key outputs of Tools to Advance Research Assessment (TARA), which is a DORA project sponsored by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin to facilitate the development of new policies and practices for academic career assessment….

It comes as no surprise that academic assessment reform is complex. Institutions are at different stages of readiness for reform and have implemented new practices in a variety of academic disciplines, career stages, and evaluation processes. The dashboard aims to capture this progress and provide counter-mapping to common proxy measures of success (e.g., Journal Impact Factor (JIF), H-index, and university rankings). Currently, we picture the general uses of the dashboard will include:

Tracking policies: Collecting academic institutional standards for hiring, promotion, and tenure.
Capturing new and innovative policies: Enabling the ability to share new assessment policies and practices.
Visualizing content: Displaying source material to see or identify patterns or trends in assessment reform.

 

Because the dashboard will highlight positive trends and examples in academic career assessment, it is important to define what constitutes good practice. One idea comes from the 2020 working paper from the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), where the authors define responsible research assessment as: approaches to assessment which incentivize, reflect and reward the plural characteristics of high-quality research, in support of diverse and inclusive research cultures….”

Dashboard will track hiring and promotion criteria

“A US$1.2 million grant will fund an effort to identify and publicize the criteria that universities around the world use to hire and promote researchers. The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), a global initiative to reform the evaluation of researchers, will use part of the funds to create an interactive dashboard that will shine much-needed light on a process that is often opaque and controversial, says programme director Anna Hatch, who is based in Washington DC. “When criteria are visible and transparent, universities can be held accountable,” she says. “Researchers will know how their contributions will be measured, so they can make a better case for themselves.”

DORA, conceived in 2012 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, called for improvements to the evaluation of researchers and the outputs of scholarly research. The declaration specifically calls for doing away with impact factors as a way to judge the merit of academics. So far, it has been signed by more than 20,000 individuals and institutions around the world.

The grant is from the Arcadia Fund, a UK-based charity that has supported many academic initiatives since its founding in 2001….”