European Commission Signs Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment

The Agreement sets a common direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers and research organisations, with the goal to maximise the quality and impact of research.

The European Commission has formally signed the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, which establishes a common direction for research assessment reform away from a structured quantitative focus on publications.

The Agreement covers the principles, commitments and timeframe for reforms and lays out the principles for the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA); a group of organisations willing to work together to implement the reform. The Coalition’s establishment is one of the main expected outcomes of the European Research Area (ERA) Policy Agenda for 2022-2024, which includes an ambition to advance the reform of the assessment system for research, researchers and institutions, while respecting the autonomy of individual organisations.

The Agreement was initially published on 20 July 2022 and is the result of a co-creation process involving more than 350 organisations from 40 countries. More than 100 signatories from 25 countries, as well as European and global organisations, have already signed the Agreement.

Alongside the announcement of the Agreement’s signature, the Commission has also formally endorsed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which was developed in 2012 and makes a number of recommendations to improve the evaluation of researchers and the outputs of scholarly research. The overall goal is to reduce dependence on journal-based metrics such as journal impact measures and citations towards a culture where importance is placed on the intrinsic value of research.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said:

“The signature of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and the endorsement of the DORA Declaration are a sign of the European Commission’s strong commitment to pave the way towards a reform of research assessment practices. Implementing changes is crucial to foster a research culture that recognises the diversity of contributions that maximise the quality and impact of research”.

The announcement can be read in full at the European Commission website.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)