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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 the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) or the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics that commit to current good practice and act as a guide for future activities.
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
Pillar at University of Galway
The University of Galway has issued its Statement on the Responsible Use of Research Metrics and University of Galway. This Statement confirms that the University of Galway is committed to the further development and implementation of responsible, fair and transparent research assessment processes and the adoption of the principles of responsible metrics.
The University Management Team (UMT) will oversee the work of progressing these commitments; and putting in place an implementation plan and a process for monitoring and reporting on progress in embedding the principles of responsible metrics. This will be undertaken through a consultative process.
Implementing the Responsible Metrics will lead to changes in the way researchers are evaluated when it comes to job appointments or promotions.