Reforming research assessment

The research and innovation process is evolving: important changes include some degree of divergence from the metrics that generally dominate assessment, namely the number of publications and citations, and the quantity of publications in journals with a high Journal Impact Factor (JIF).

The way research projects, researchers, research units, and research institutions are assessed is fundamental for a well-functioning research and innovation system. Choices on assessment measures made by funders and institutions directly influence research culture and behaviours, the research system quality, and institutions' and nations' research agendas. For example, decisions on the allocation of research funds, academic career advancement or the hiring of staff can disadvantage research fields with low prevalence in dominant metrics, regardless of their societal impact.

Given the above reasons, which are linked to the new R&I landscape and some structural characteristics of academia, reforming research assessment is increasingly seen as a priority to ensure research quality, performance and impact.