Responsible metrics

The University of Portsmouth firmly believes that research should be assessed/evaluated in as objective manner as possible, irrespective of the outlet or medium through which it is released, and that all research assessment and evaluation processes should be transparent, founded on fairness, consistency and inclusivity, and fit for purpose.

We do not deny that quantitative metrics (such as impact factors, citation counts and journal rankings) have a role to play in research assessment and evaluation. However, we view their role as being to complement and lend support to peer review and expert judgement - rather than being either a primary or surrogate determinant of ‘research quality’ - when hiring, promotion, or funding decisions are made.

For this reason, in January 2020, the University of Portsmouth signed up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). We unequivocally embrace the general recommendations for institutions laid out in that document and have developed the following eight principles to govern our approach in this area.

The Portsmouth Principles governing Research Evaluation and Assessment:
Principle 1: We view the content of a paper as much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it is published
Principle 2: We will use quantitative metrics to inform and support, but not to supplant peer review and expert judgement 
Principle 3: Our research assessment and evaluation processes will have clear, strategic objectives
Principle 4: We will account for variation by disciplinary field in terms of research outputs and citation practices
Principle 5: We will ensure data sources are accurate, reliable, robust and transparent
Principle 6: Where we use research metrics in our assessment and evaluation processes, we will not rely upon one single metric in isolation
Principle 7: We will not employ research metrics that reflect or introduce bias (e.g. by gender) in any research assessment or evaluation process
Principle 8: We will champion the use of responsible metrics at Portsmouth

Further information
For more details on our approach relating to the use of research metrics in research evaluation and assessment, download part 1 of our DORA paper.  

For examples of why we have adopted each of these principles, and how they are reflected in our current policies and processes, download part 2 of our DORA paper.

To read more on how we are going to further embed these principles into our operating practices, download part 3 of our DORA paper

If you have any questions relating to how we use research metrics at Portsmouth please email us at, stating 'Research Metrics' as the subject of your enquiry.


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