The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, commonly known as DORA, is a set of recommendations developed by a group of editors and journal publishers to improve the way scholarly research is evaluated.

CONUL, the Consortium of National and University Libraries in Ireland, joins over 1,200 research stakeholder organisations including the Health Research Board, Science Foundation Ireland and the Wellcome Trust in signing the declaration.

DORA proposes the adoption of 18 “practices in research assessment” which can apply to funding agencies, institutions, publishers, bibliometric suppliers, and researchers. The overarching and general recommendation of DORA is that use of the journal-based metrics should not be used “as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles” or to assess an individual scientist’s contribution.

Signing the declaration is “a first step to creating meaningful cultural change in the scholarly community” according to the roadmap DORA have set out for advancing global research assessment reform at the institutional, national, and funder level. CONUL is well placed to raise awareness about DORA in Ireland and to “promote tools and processes that embody best practices in research assessment”.