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EU invites pitches to join coalition on reform of research assessment


Commission issues call for sector organisations to help draft agreement on reforming narrow assessment methods

Research organisations have been asked by the European Commission to express an interest in joining a planned coalition on reforming research assessment. Members will sign up to principles and values intended to help the sector move away from its longstanding over-reliance on proxies for quality and impact.

The use of narrow publication-based metrics to assess researchers at the neglect of a more rounded approach is a widely recognised problem in academia, which is often linked to problems with research culture. The call for expressions of interest to join the coalition, published on 16 December, comes after a November report from the Commission on reforming research assessment.

Research institutions, funders, sector associations, learned societies, as well as national and regional authorities have been invited to participate in drafting an agreement on reform and discussions on governance. The deadline for expressions of interest is 10 January, but the coalition will remain open to new members after that date.

Earlier in December, university groups told Research Professional News that plans for the coalition would need to be backed with appropriate funding and other support. But many sector organisations also welcomed the inclusion of reforming research assessment in the policy agenda of the European Research Area—an EU-led policy package—backed by ministers in late November.