COST signs agreement on research reform assessment

22 Nov 2022 | Network Updates | Update from COST Association
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

COST has become an official signatory of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and will become a member of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA)

The Agreement sets a shared direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers, and research performing organisations with the overarching goal to maximise the quality and impact of research. It is based on 10 core Commitments: 

1. Recognise the diversity of contributions to, and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research

2. Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators

3. Abandon inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publication based metrics, in particular inappropriate uses of Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-index

4. Avoid the use of rankings of research organisations in research assessment

5. Commit resources to reforming research assessment as is needed to achieve the organisational changes committed to

6. Review and develop research assessment criteria, tools and processes

7. Raise awareness of research assessment reform and provide transparent communication, guidance, and training on assessment criteria and processes as well as their use

8. Exchange practices and experiences to enable mutual learning within and beyond the Coalition

9. Communicate progress made on adherence to the Principles and implementation of the Commitments

10. Evaluate practices, criteria and tools based on solid evidence and the state-of-the-art in research on research, and make data openly available for evidence gathering and research.

These Commitments are closely aligned with the principles of the COST Submission, Evaluation, Selection and Approval system (SESA evaluation), which is based on anonymous, qualitative, peer review of COST Action proposals.  

Joining CoARA will allow COST to maintain a dialogue with Research Funding and Performing Organisations as well as other R&I stakeholders in assessing and improving systems of evaluation, in turn reviewing, developing, and evaluating COST’s own evaluation criteria, tools, and processes. 

More than 200 organisations have now signed the Agreement ahead of the 1st meeting of the Coalition, the Constitutive Assembly, on 1 December 2022. 

This article was first published on 16 November by COST.

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