Sorbonne University signs EU research assessment reform agreement

10 Nov 2022 | Network Updates | Update from Sorbonne University
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Sorbonne

Photo: Sorbonne University website.

Read the full Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment here.

Sorbonne University is a signatory of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. This international agreement realigns research objectives with assessment practices for researchers and research organizations, with the overarching goal to maximize the quality and impact of research. The agreement includes the principles, commitments and timeframe for reforms and lays out the principles for a Coalition of organizations willing to work together in implementing the changes, while respecting each organization’s autonomy. In February 2021, Sorbonne University formalized its policy of promoting actions for open science in the internal evaluation of research at Sorbonne University, in which it affirmed that priority be given to the evaluation of research:

• The content and intrinsic quality of research work

• Open access publication • The opening of research data

• The dissemination of knowledge

• Other actions in favor of the opening of science

In September 2022, Sorbonne University also signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (the DORA1 Agreement) and continued its commitment to the evolution of assessment practices.

The Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment was developed by a team of representatives from the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe and the European Commission and was negotiated by more than 350 organizations from more than 40 countries. Input was given from a diverse group from the European research community, including LERU and Sorbonne University, who were part of the Stakeholder Assembly. Following a consultation with EU member states and associated countries, the final version of the agreement was established in July 2022.

Sorbonne University is pleased that the CNRS, the ANR and HCERES are among the early signatories in France. These signatories will work together to enable systemic reform on the basis of common principles within an agreed timeframe and to facilitate exchanges of information and mutual learning between all those willing to improve research assessment practices. They are committed to working together and to respecting a common vision based on the recognition of the diversity of the productions of research practices and activities, giving priority to the quality and impact of research.

There are ten core commitments to this agreement:

1. Recognize 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 organizations in research assessment

5. Commit resources to reforming research assessment as is needed to achieve the organizational 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

Sorbonne University will share the process of reviewing or developing criteria, tools and processes in line with the core Commitments to recognize Sorbonne University researchers and research units in their dedication to excellence in research.

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