The Open University (OU) has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) (November 2020) in a move towards more openness and equity in research assessment and career advancement in higher education.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Blackman signed DORA, a set of recommendations which recognises the need to improve the ways in which contributions to higher education are valued, including supervision, research, knowledge exchange and public engagement.
“The Open University is driven by its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas advocating an equitable approach to engaging people beyond academia with its research.
“The University champions openly shared, engaged research of all kinds alongside our world-leading approach to flexible, supported online teaching,” he said. “In alignment with this mission and our values, we have decided to sign DORA.”
DORA is a worldwide initiative of relevance to institutional research cultures, research assessment and citation practices. To date it has been signed by over 2,000 organizations and around 16,600 individuals.
Under this agreement, the OU commits to not allocating staff career advancement opportunities based on Journal Impact Factors (JIFs). In its DORA implementation plan it will make explicit the criteria used for attracting, retaining and developing a diverse research community. The OU will recognise the importance of processes for staff evaluation that are transparent and evidence-based, as part of a culture that aims to be fully inclusive.