On 16 May, DORA turns 10 years old! And, no, we aren’t talking about the children’s cartoon character Dora the Explorer, but rather the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).  

What is DORA? 

DORA is a set of recommendations for improving the way research is evaluated and promoting a fairer and more accurate way to measure scholarly impact. One of DORA’s key recommendations is to minimise the use of journal-based metrics in the evaluation of the quality of individual researchers and their research outputs. 

Over the past decade DORA has garnered 23,178 individual and organisation signatures across 160 countries. This includes heavyweights such as University of Cambridge, University College London, Oxford University Press, BioMed Central, Springer Open and, importantly for Australian researchers, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). 

DORA has become a platform for open discussion and has led to significant changes in research assessment practices. The NHMRC, for example, has now eliminated the use of journal-metrics in the assessment of grant applications and encourages a broader range of metrics and indicators of impact.   

Databases such as Scopus and Web of Science now offer alternative impact measures, and researchers and institutions are encouraged to tell richer impact stories when applying for grants and promotions. This might include demonstrating the influence of their work on policies, industry, the economy and society at large.   

Get involved 

To celebrate their 10-year anniversary, DORA has organised a week of webinars from across the globe. 

Register now to join the Asia-Pacific plenary session on 16 May at 10 am (AEST). Speakers will discuss the state of the field, the past decade of work, and the future of DORA and responsible research assessment.  

Other ways to get involved: 

If you need further advice, please contact the Library.