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At St George’s we are committed to assessing the quality of our research fairly and transparently.

As a demonstration of this commitment the university signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in 2018.

As a signatory to DORA the university has affirmed its support for the responsible use of metrics and quantitative indicators of research. 

The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

DORA recognises the need to improve the ways in which research is evaluated. It aims to challenge and transform the current research culture that places significant emphasis on journal-based metrics such as Journal Impact Factor as a measure of research quality.

DORA also values and aims to meaningfully assess the range of outputs from scientific research, including research articles, research data, reagents and software; intellectual property; and highly trained scientists. 

Our commitment

As a university we are committed to assessing research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published.

This commitment is in line with the university’s overall strategic research vision, mission and values as established in our organisational research objectives.

DORA is especially relevant as we work to:

  • provide a research environment that inspires innovation and enables people at all stages of their careers to reach their full potential

  • recognise, inspire and retain early career researchers to create scientific leaders of the future

  • maximise the impact of our research and its contribution to scientific knowledge and clinical practice

To achieve the whole system culture change advocated by DORA and its supporters, the university will:

  • Issue a statement of commitment to the DORA principles on the SGUL website.

  • Provide training, guidance and resources on open science.

  • Provide guidance to senior staff on good practice in research(er) evaluation during hiring, promotion and reward with a suite of options for requesting and measuring the range of academic contributions to research (including the CREDiT taxonomy and Résumé for Researchers toolkit produced by the Royal Society).

  • Provide guidance and workshops for researchers to raise awareness of tools for recording/evidencing the full range of their contributions to high-quality scientific research on CVs and promotions applications.

  • Develop a programme of advocacy and communication to raise awareness of these initiatives.

  • Explore opportunities to identify areas where good practice isn’t being upheld.

  • Develop a process to monitor and report on progress.

Our progress

In 2020 the University established a DORA Working Group (agreed by Research Committee) to explore the integration of DORA principles and practices into our research environment and culture.

The Working Group is chaired by the Director of Cross-Cutting Research Themes and Academic Lead for REF2021, Professor Jodi Lindsay, who leads the implementation of a DORA action plan, acting on behalf of the Deputy Principal (Research and Enterprise), Professor Jon Friedland, who signed the declaration on behalf of the University.

The Working Group’s action plan was approved by Research Committee in June 2020. We have already taken the following positive steps to embed the DORA principles at SGUL:

  • Issued clear guidance to the promotions committee on using publication metrics responsibly for academic promotions

  • Delivered training on the DORA principles in the context of REF2021

  • Delivered guidance to PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and academic staff on communicating their research achievements in line with DORA expectations. This guide can be found in the resources section below.

The DORA Working Group includes representatives from all levels of the university’s academic community as well as representatives from professional services. The members are:

  • Jodi Lindsay (Chair – Institute for Infection and Immunity)

  • Laura Southgate (Senior Lecturer representative - Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute)

  • David Strachan (Senior Researcher representative, Population Health Research Institute)

  • Mohammed Hudda (PhD Student representative – Population Health Research Institute)

  • Clare Benson (PhD Student representative – Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute)

  • David Clark / Cathy Moore (shared) (Post-doctoral Researcher representatives – Institute for Infection and Immunity)

  • Florencia Cavodeassi (Senior Lecturer representative – Institute for Medical and Biomedical Education)

  • Louise Hermann (Human Resources representative – Professional Services)

  • Jennifer Smith (Research Publications representative – Professional Services)

  • Michelle Harricharan (Research Data Management representative – Professional Services)

Progress on DORA will be regularly reported at Research Committee. 

Resources

The DORA Working Group has produced/contributed to the following resources to support staff and students with implementing the DORA principles.

Recruitment and promotions

Career development for researchers

Responsible research assessment

For queries or further information about DORA, please contact one of our working group members or  dora@sgul.ac.uk

 

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