Academy of Finland signs the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
The Academy of Finland has signed the DORA declaration, which is founded on the principle that research funding, recruitment and compensation for researchers should be based on the merits of the research itself and not on where it is published. According to the DORA declaration, journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, should not be used as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles to assess an individual researcher’s scientific contributions, or in hiring, promotion or funding decisions.
By signing the DORA declaration, the Academy has committed to considering how things such as application guidelines, criteria for evaluating scientific outputs, or an assessment panel’s practices should be developed in the light of DORA’s recommendations.
“Signing the declaration is a promise to consider DORA’s objectives in the development of the Academy’s operating methods. By signing this declaration, the Academy will join an international team of organisations who are seeking to support the assessment of an individual researcher’s scientific contributions on the merits of their research,” says Vice President Riitta Maijala.
The Academy will continue to promote DORA in Finland in collaboration with the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and Universities Finland UNIFI. Signing DORA forms part of both UNIFI’s open science and data programme and funding organisations’ joint plan to promote open access to research publications (Plan S). The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies has signed DORA.
The DORA declaration was born in 2012 at the American Society for Cell Biology’s Annual Meeting. The declaration has since spread around the globe as an expression of intent on how research assessment should be developed. 1,199 organisations have signed the declaration to date, including the Academy of Finland’s sister organisations in Norway, Estonia, France and Austria; the Swedish organisations FORMAS and FORTE; and several UK organisations that fund the medical and environmental sciences. In addition to funding organisations, its signatories include many universities, scientific associations, libraries, archives, scientific publishers, and more than 13,000 private persons.
The DORA declaration urges funding organisations to be explicit about the criteria used in evaluating the scientific productivity of grant applicants, and to clearly highlight – especially for early-stage investigators – that the scientific content of an article is much more important than publication metrics or the reputation of the journal in which it was published.
For the purposes of research assessment, the DORA declaration encourages funding organisations to consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software) in addition to research publications. They should also consider a broad range of impact measures, including qualitative indicators of research impact such as influence on policy and practice.
The Academy of Finland’s Board has defined objectives for each form of research funding in the grounds for research funding decisions. Openness and transparency in the application and assessment process are important criteria in the development of the Academy’s activities. The evaluation criteria for applications are published in advance in the call for applications, and also in the assessment guidelines and forms. Applications are assessed based on the research plan, not solely on the applicant’s publication record. When making funding decisions, the Academy also considers its other approved objectives for scientific policy, such as greater impact for research. An applicant’s CV and publication record will contain information about many other research outputs in addition to their publications.
More information and inquiries
- Vice President Riitta Maijala, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 002, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Counsellor of Science Kata-Riina Valosaari, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 128, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Senior Science Adviser Jyrki Hakapää, tel. +358 295 335 020, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi