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The Declaration on Research Assessment DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

Abbreviation: DORA

Reference: ,

Practices in research assessment

The signatories of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment support the adoption of the following practices in research assessment.
  • Do not use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions.
  • Be explicit about the criteria used in evaluating the scientific productivity of grant applicants and to reach hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions, and clearly highlight, especially for early-stage investigators, that the scientific content of a paper is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it was published.
  • For the purposes of research assessment, consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software) in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.
For publishers
  • Greatly reduce emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics (e.g., 5-year impact factor, EigenFactor [8], SCImago [9], h-index, editorial and publication times, etc.) that provide a richer view of journal performance.
For funding agencies and institutions
  • Make available a range of article-level metrics to encourage a shift toward assessment based on the scientific content of an article rather than publication metrics of the journal in which it was published.
  • Encourage responsible authorship practices and the provision of information about the specific contributions of each author.
  • Whether a journal is open-access or subscription-based, remove all reuse limitations on reference lists in research articles and make them available under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication [10].
  • Remove or reduce the constraints on the number of references in research articles, and, where appropriate, mandate the citation of primary literature in favor of reviews in order to give credit to the group(s) who first reported a finding.
For researchers
  • When involved in committees making decisions about funding, hiring, tenure, or promotion, make assessments based on scientific content rather than publication metrics.
  • Wherever appropriate, 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 [11].
  • Challenge research assessment practices that rely inappropriately on Journal Impact Factors and promote and teach best practice that focuses on the value and influence of specific research outputs.

Selected quotations

  • The Journal Impact Factor .. was originally created as a tool to help librarians identify journals to purchase, not as a measure of the scientific quality of research in an article.
  • Outputs other than research articles will grow in importance in assessing research effectiveness in the future, but the peer-reviewed research paper will remain a central research output that informs research assessment.
  • need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published.


Statement on Adherence to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
DORA is an initiative that unites more than 17 000 individuals and 2 000 organizations in 148 countries across the world in a commitment to principles that guide the reform of academic assessment. The voluntary signatories to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment form a community of learners with shared aspirations to improve the ways research is assessed for decisions that impact research careers. While DORA is not a regulator or an accreditation entity, we expect organizational signatories to demonstrate to their communities how they are fulfilling their commitment to the declaration. DORA recognizes the challenges involved in putting its principles into effect in a range of organizational contexts and is always ready to work with signatories to help with implementation of research assessment reform and to share best practice. - (2021-07-15)


  • Oroboros Instruments GmbH has signed DORA.
  • Bioenergetics Communications has signed DORA.

MitoPedia topics: BEC 

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