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Whilst bibliometric indicators can be a useful source of information when used responsibly, they are very narrow and limited measures and should not be used in isolation. The question of how to use metrics in a responsible way has been discussed intensively in the academic community and it is now time that learnings are implemented into practice.
Combining a wide range or "basket" of contextualised metrics across a range of appropriate dimensions can help to supplement or inform expert, qualitative peer review and assessment. A broad range of outputs and activities should be recognised as part of any research evaluation process, not just publications.
Many institutions are signing Responsible Metrics statements such as DORA that commit to current good practice and act as a guide for future activities.
Pillar at NUI Galway
NUI Galway is considering signing DORA and implementing its main principles into institutional practice. Discussions on when and how to do this are ongoing and we hope to have more news on this in the near future. NUI Galway also hopes that a coordinated approach in the Irish HE sector on the responsible use of metrics can be found.
Two key recommendations of DORA are:
- to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;
- to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published