Reform systems for assessing and rewarding research is being reformed to better support open science practices, as part of the larger open science reform. One step towards this goal is the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA), which was established this summer.
Text: Sanna Isabel Ulfsparre
The newly-established Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) could become instrumental in furthering the development of assessment frameworks, methods, and reward systems for research. Organisations joining CoARA commit to 10 concrete action areas; This commitment to act distinguishes CoARA from Dora (The Declaration on Research Assessment), which many have already signed.
A team of representatives from the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe, the European Commission, and Dr Karen Stroobants, a consultant with expertise in research on research, developed the draft for the coalition agreement. An additional core group of 20 organisations also contributed to the draft.
EU Member States and Associated Countries were consulted on the agreement draft through the ERA Forum and the European Research Area Committee (ERAC). In the end, more than 350 organisations from 40 countries were involved in formulating the agreement. During a transitional period, the secretariat for the coalition will be provided by Science Europe, EUA and the European Commission.
In Sweden, 12 organisations, including SUHF and VR, have joined the coalition as well as 360 organisations worldwide. Umeå University is exploring what CoARA could mean for our seat of learning.
The organisations joining CoARA commit to:
Recognise the diversity of contributions to, and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research
Base research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators
Abandon inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publication-based metrics, in particular inappropriate uses of Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-index
Avoid the use of rankings of research organisations in research assessment
Commit resources to reforming research assessment as is needed to achieve the organisational changes committed to
Review and develop research assessment criteria, tools and processes
Raise awareness of research assessment reform and provide transparent communication, guidance, and training on assessment criteria and processes as well as their use
Exchange practices and experiences to enable mutual learning within and beyond the Coalition
Communicate progress made on adherence to the Principles and implementation of the Commitments
Evaluate practices, criteria and tools based on solid evidence and the state-of-the-art in research on research, and make data openly available for evidence gathering and research