Open science: research assessment and FAIR data

Open science is a very broad term. Research assessment – rewards, incentives and recognition for researchers who practice open science – is its most important pillar. FAIR data – data that can be found easily through metadata, which is accessible through standardized, interoperable and reusable protocols – is another.

Research assessment

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) was the first Spanish university to sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), in 2019. In the same year, the UOC included research assessment models as one of the main areas for work in its Open Knowledge Action Plan.

Reforming research assessment continues to be a priority at the UOC. For this reason, the university has signed the European Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and is a member of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA), established in late 2022.

The Agreement covers the principles, commitments and timeframe for reforming research assessment, and is based on qualitative research assessment with peer reviews and responsible use of quantitative indicators.

The commitments set out in the Agreement are as follows:

  • Recognize the diversity of contributions to, and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research;
  • Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators; 
  • Abandon inappropriate uses of journal- and publication-based metrics; and
  • Avoid the use of rankings of research organizations in research assessment.

Signing the Agreement commits the UOC to drafting, by the end of 2023, an action plan for reforming research assessment, to be implemented from 2024 to 2027. This action plan will be specific to the institution, taking into account its past and present and its national and regional context.

The UOC's involvement in CoARA complements its Progress in Research Assessment plan, detailed in the UOC Insight section (fostering transformative, high-quality research) of its 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.

FAIR data

The UOC is aiming to make sure that, by the year 2030, all the university's research data is generated in line with the FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). You can make use of research data from the UOC, and we also offer you other resources to raise awareness about the FAIR data guidelines.