Adopting a responsible metrics approach is seen as good practice
across the research community.
However, there is now an additional need for The Open University to sign up to an
external responsible metrics statement, such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) or the Leiden Manifesto, or develop one of its own. Certain
major funders have changed their policies, which could impact our eligibility to receive research funding:
“We [The Wellcome Trust] are committed to making sure that when we assess research outputs during funding decisions we consider the intrinsic merit of the work, not the title of the journal or publisher.
All Wellcome-funded organisations must publicly commit to this principle. For example, they can sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, Leiden Manifesto or equivalent.
We may ask organisations to show that they’re complying with this as part of our organisation audits.”
(The Wellcome Trust, 2019)
“cOAlition S* supports the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) that research needs to be assessed on its own merits rather than on the basis of the venue in which the research is published. cOAlition S
members will implement such principles in their policies by January 2021.”
(cOAlition S, 2019)
* cOAlition S is a group of funders co-ordinated by Science Europe. It includes UKRI, Wellcome, the European Research Council (ERC), the European Commission and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They are responsible for Plan S, a radical proposal regarding open access to research publications from which the above quote is taken
The Library Research Support team recently brought a paper to Research Committee, which investigates the University’s options in terms of responding to these policy changes. We are looking into how publication metrics are used at The OU and whether any current practices are in tension with these policy changes. The aim is that, all being well, The Open University will look at signing DORA.
We will keep you updated on our progress and would welcome any feedback on this issue.
cOAlition S (2019) Plan S: Principles and Implementation. Available at: https://www.coalitions.org/principles-and-implementation/
The Wellcome Trust (2019) Open access policy 2021. London: The Wellcome Trust. Available at: