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Research Strategy Office


DORA Signatory logoOn 8 July 2019, the University of Cambridge signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated. These outputs are many and varied, including but not limited to, research articles, reviews, book, monographs, data, reagents, software, intellectual property and trained young researchers). While institutions and funders need to be able to assess the quality and impact of research outputs, it is imperative that this is measured accurately and evaluated wisely. There is a need to establish well founded and academically supported criteria for evaluating primary research and other indicators of research, that transparently inform hiring, probation and promotion policies across the University. While initially driven by the STEM sector, the University wishes to apply the principles of DORA to all research areas

Specifically, DORA aims to:

  1. eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors (JIF), in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;
  2. assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal or venue in which the research is published;
  3. capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact).
  4. consider the value and impact of all research outputs using a broad range of impact measures, including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.

Since signing DORA the Research Policy and Open Research Steering Committees established a working group to develop a framework for guiding the assessment of research output that can be adopted by the University. Such a framework must be developed in consultation with academics across disciplines and provide a structure whereby transparent discipline-specific indicators can be developed and used as the basis for all process that assess research output.

These pages will be used to host consultation documents, advertise consultation events and provide updates on the process of developing the framework.