UM signs European agreement for research assessment reform
During the European Research and Innovation Days on 28 and 29 September, UM joined 50 other knowledge institutions in signing the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. Drafted by the European Commission, the European University Association and Science Europe, the agreement focuses on implementing a more effective, efficient and inclusive research system. It can also be taken as a sign of broad international endorsement of the philosophy behind the Recognition & Rewards programme recently established in the Netherlands. This programme set in motion a number of changes in how research is assessed; changes that are now being picked up and implemented elsewhere too.
As an early signatory of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, UM will have the opportunity to help shape the reforms in partnership with the other signatories in the coalition. The agreement provides a platform for pilots and experiments, for the development of new assessment criteria, methods and tools, and for critical reflection, exchange of best practices and mutual learning.
Each organisation decides for itself which steps to take and at what pace. Within one year of signing, however, institutions are required to draw up an action plan describing the procedure by which they will draw up new criteria for research assessment, including all milestones. Within five years, they must have completed at least one cycle of development and review of assessment criteria, tools and processes.
The agreement includes four core commitments:
- Recognise the diversity of contributions to, and careers in research according to the needs and the nature of the research. Broaden the recognition of the diverse practices and activities as well as careers in research.
- Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer-review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators
- Abandon the inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publication-based metrics, in particular the inappropriate uses of journal impact factor (JIF) and h-index
- Avoid the use of international rankings of research organisations in research assessment
UM will actively commit to these pledges and align them explicitly with the Recognition & Rewards programme. The new agreement provides international anchoring for the objectives of Recognition & Rewards. Although the reforms are initiated and facilitated by the European Commission, research institutions worldwide can sign the agreement and thus join the coalition. So far, more than 350 organisations from 40 countries have expressed an interest in doing so.
The agreement in its entirety is available here: