Research evaluation and responsible research metrics
Find out what the University is doing to improve research assessment practice through the responsible use of research metrics, and view links to good practice resources for researchers.
Responsible use of research metrics
Responsible use of research metrics is about setting out how we use numerical measures and analysis appropriately and fairly alongside more qualitative information to recognise and support high quality research.
Why is it important?
Relying solely on single measures such as grant income, journal impact factor or h-index to make decisions about individuals puts research at risk. A discipline-appropriate ‘basket of measures’ alongside more qualitative evidence provides a more balanced consideration of research than any single measure, and recognises the many ways research can be considered successful, as well as minimising biases and preconceptions.
What are we doing to improve research assessment practice?
We are a signatory of DORA
The University of Edinburgh signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in Spring 2019. DORA provides a roadmap for global reform in research assessment that universities, funding bodies and individual researchers can sign up to. As a signatory, the University supports DORA’s vision to ‘advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all scholarly disciplines'.
Ethical use of data in research assessment
Research metrics working group
The Research Metrics Working Group was set up in 2019 for an initial term of two years. It reports to the University's Research Policy Group and is chaired by Professor Andrew Millar. The Group has a remit which includes oversight of the University’s policy and action plan on ‘Responsible Research Metrics’ , and facilitating where possible continuous improvement in research assessment practice. It also advises on new and innovative potential uses of research information to support excellence in research.
Training materials and good practice resources
The working group is developing a formal action plan and resources for colleagues across the University on the responsible use of metrics in research assessment.
Research Culture Virtual Suggestions Box
As part of our wider efforts to support a vibrant research culture, we would like to hear about examples of good or innovative practice in research assessment practice that could be rolled out more widely, and likewise any areas that need improvement. Please use our virtual 'suggestions box' to help us.
For further information, please get in touch directly with Edinburgh Research Office.