Responsible metrics

The University of Portsmouth has signed up to the San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment, known as DORA. This Declaration aims to help institutions improve fairness and transparency around their use of metrics.

DORA is an internationally agreed set of principles that outline how metrics, especially journal metrics, can be used ‘responsibly’. Its overarching principles are –

  • The need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations;
  • The need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published;
  • The need to capitalise on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact).

Metrics are often very useful in understanding someone’s background, research and accomplishments however, they must be used in a way that aligns with DORA, with proper understanding of what the metrics mean and what context is needed to interpret them fairly and responsibly.

Having signed up to DORA, the University is working towards being compliant with its principles and reviewing areas where DORA may apply, to see whether any changes or updates are needed. This will include areas like recruitment, workload allocation and promotions.

If you have any questions about DORA or the use of metrics, please visit the DORA website, or contact Dr Andy Dixon, Deputy Director, Research and Innovation Services (RIS).


Useful links