UCT statement of support for the principles of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

The University Research Committee (URC), chaired by the DVC-Research and Internationalisation, supports the principles of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

 The DORA principles are sound. They speak directly to UCT values and enable the transformation strategy by:

  1. being explicit about the criteria used to evaluate scientific productivity, and clearly highlighting that the scientific content of a paper is more important than the publication’s metrics or identity of the journal in which it is published; and
  2. recognising the value of all research outputs (publications, creative works, datasets and software), as well as other types of contributions, such as training early-career researchers and influence on policy and practice.

A DORA task team, comprising academic and research support staff, has developed an implementation plan to develop research assessment practices consistent with the principles of DORA and better aligned with UCT’s vision to conduct research “that addresses Afrika's problems and contributes to global knowledge” (UCT Vision 2030). The Research Data Management Governance Committee, a working group of the URC, has oversight of progress towards improved research assessment.

The message is simple. We need to do two things:

  1. promote change in research assessment at UCT to address the misuse of journal-based metrics in recruitment, promotion and funding decisions;
  2. support researchers in communicating the quality and significance of all their research outputs.

Image: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12020-z

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