towards the end of “publish or perish”?

Europe- Has the “Publish or perish” fizzled out? Many organizations are committed at European level to a reform of research evaluation. The agreement which should serve as the basis for a future coalition is published in order to be consulted and signed.

“The ‘publish or perish’ and all the quantitative measures (metrics) have led us to a dead end. Let’s start by recognizing the full extent of the value created by researchers”. This assertion of Marc Schiltzpresident of European Sciencesummarizes well the spirit of the coalition which is being formed and whose goal is to reform the system of evaluation of research.

4 commitments

Announced on July 20, 2022, the final version of the agreement for the reform of research evaluation was presented during a meeting of the various stakeholders bringing together more than 350 organizations from more than 40 countries, including organizations funding research, research organisations, national/regional evaluation authorities or agencies, as well as associations and learned societies. The agreement is the result of co-drafting work carried out by the European University Association, Science Europe and the European Commission.

The agreement sets out a common direction for changing the assessment practices of research, researchers and research organisations, with the main objective being to maximize the quality and impact of research. Thus, the agreement includes the principles, commitments and timetable for the reforms and defines the principles of a coalition of organizations willing to work together to implement the changes. This reform movement “is intended to be an inclusive and collaborative space to move together towards a better, more efficient and more inclusive research system”, reads the EU press release.

The 4 main commitments are summarized on the site Open Science from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, here they are :

  1. Recognize the diversity of research contributions and research careers, in accordance with the needs and nature of research;

  2. Base research assessment primarily on qualitative assessment for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators;

  3. Abandon inappropriate uses in research evaluation of journal and publication-based measures, in particular inappropriate uses of the journal impact factor (JIF) and h-index;

  4. Avoid the use of research organization rankings in research evaluation.

This agreement will be submitted for signature from September 28 during the Research and Innovation Days during a plenary session on the reform of research evaluation. Organizations involved in research evaluation, based in Europe or elsewhere, are encouraged to sign it and then join the coalition.

The publication of this agreement is part of a global movement in which there are more than a dozen initiatives, such as the recent Paris Appeal on the evaluation of research or the conclusions of the Council on the evaluation of research and the implementation of open science.

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The article is in French

Tags: publish perish

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