The need for a new system of research assessment has been evident since the beginning of the 21st century. The principles of the San Francisco declaration, DORA, are slowly permeating in Research Funding Agencies and Research Performing Organisations. In the EU, the push for a fairer system for hiring and evaluating researchers has led to the Open, Transparent and Merit-based policies included in HRS4R.
But IdiPAZ wants to go further and deeper in promoting the cultural change in research assessment by recognising the conclusions of the 2021 Scoping report "Towards a reform of the research assessment system" and by joining the coalition of institutions willing to push for this new system that will not rely in Journal Impact Factors.

Towards a reform of the
research assessment system

CoARA is an international coalition of organisations representing the entire research cycle: funding bodies, evaluation authorities and agencies, universities, research organisations, scientific societies and other relevant entities, to work together to improve research evaluation practices.

The agreement relies on qualitive research evaluation, peer review, and responsible use of quantitative indicators. The initiative aims to promote an evolution of the current evaluation system, in which a decontextualised quantitative approach is often over-weighted.

This coalition aims to be an inclusive and collaborative space, offering a platform for debate to develop new criteria, methods, tools, and a space for the exchange of good practices and mutual learning.

The agreement prior to the constitution of the coalition is based on ten commitments that seek to evaluate research with quantitative models and the responsible use of quantitative models, moving away from the inappropriate use of bibliometric indicators or international institution-created rankings.

Examples of CoARA’s aspirations are:
  • recognising the diversity of research contributions and careers;
  • evaluating research with qualitative models and responsible use of quantitative¡ indicators;
  • abandoning the inappropriate use of:
- journal and scientific publication metrics and, in particular, the so-called impact journal factors which measure the visibility of the academic journal but not the quality of a specific article.

- the h-index, taken from the set of the most cited works of a researcher and the number of citations of each of their articles.

- rankings of international organisations; when used to evaluate research.