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Change of research assessment needed


On 27 November 2020, the Consultation on Changing the Research Assessment was organised in Slovenia by the OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk and the Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts. It was attended by 289 participants via Zoom and YouTube. Presentations and recordings are available from the programme or as a YouTube playlist.

Internationally, DORA Declaration, Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics and Metric Tide have stimulated wider discussions on the need to change research assessment and were followed by in-depth analyses and search for more equitable and open science supportive assessment frameworks. At the Slovenian Consultation webpage, documents are listed from the European Commission, the European University Association and Science Europe as well as national initiatives that contain recommendations on changing the evaluation of research. Relevant changes are being implemented in China and investigated in the United States. In the week of the Slovenian Consultation, the Global Research Council Virtual Conference on Responsible Research Assessment demonstrated that research funders across the globe are aligning on responsible research assessment for the greater public good.

Prof Dr Stephen Curry from Imperial College and DORA is one of the authors of a working paper launched prior to the Global Research Council Virtual Conference entitled The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead. Participants of the Slovenian Consultation on Changing the Research Assessment were privileged to listen to Prof Curry's presentation of the DORA Declaration recommendations as a cure for current prevailing lack of incentives for publishing reliably, rapidly and openly, which is causing metric-driven hyper-competition in research.

Prof Dr Dr René von Schomberg from the European Commission connected research assessment and open science, which is a more efficient and reliable science and responsive to societal challenges. Yet current research assessment is not supportive of practising open science. Change of research evaluation will cause new modus operandi for science (collaboration, sharing, addressing societal challenges). Since open science is a default cross-cutting provision in the new European Research Area, the near future might be foretold with Prof Schomberg's final words: "Practise Open Science or don't receive public funding of your research".

Ghent University has adopted its policy on research and researchers' career assessment in 2016 and continues to evolve it. Dr Nele Bracke explained that what is important for Ghent University in its local, national and international context is being evaluated, and indicators are used that make sense and are feasible.

The high-level Slovenian panel was chaired by Prof Dr Janja Hojnik from the University of Maribor, with participation of Dr Tomaž Boh from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Assoc Prof Dr Robert Repnik from the Slovenian Research Agency, Prof Dr Jurij Jaklič from the University of Ljubljana, and Res Assoc Dr Tea Romih from the National Institute of Chemistry and The Young Academy of Slovenia. The panelists acknowledged the need for changing research assessment, also as being part of the new European Research Area, and pointed to existing practices in Slovenia as well as possible implementation issues.

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