Metrics form part of an evolving and increasingly digital research environment, where data and analysis are important. However, when used in isolation, metrics can be easily misinterpreted resulting in misleading conclusions.
Over the last five years three key initiatives calling for a change in the culture of metric use have come forward:
- The Forum for Responsible Metrics
- The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
- The Leiden Manifesto
These initiatives ask for a commitment to improving the ways research is evaluated, and that the research quality of an output or the research performance of an individual should be assessed on its own merits and not on the reputation or ranking of the host publication.
We are committed to bringing about change to ensure metrics are used responsibly: we are a signatory to DORA and a Responsible Metrics Champions Group, chaired by Professor Rob Anderson, is working to identify how we can ensure this important agenda is adopted across the University, considering:
1) Responsible metrics policies;
2) Insitutional Human Resources policies;
3) Research strategy;
4) Culture, development and advocacy.
The University of Exeter have a set of Responsible Metrics Guiding Principles which reflect what we believe all colleagues should consider when using metrics, or indicators, for assessment. These were developed by the Responsible Metrics Champions Group, with wider consultation and on behalf of the Research Impact Executive Committee, chaired by the DVC Research and Impact.
These principles are designed to help everyone to consider if and how metrics, or indicators, should be used for a range of different scenarios. They are not intended to provide specific guidance for individual circumstances, but should be used in conjunction with expert judgement and our metrics/indicators guidance which will be published in the coming months.
As a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), we enourage all colleagues involved in research and research management to familiarise themselves with these principles.
Read the University of Exeter's Responsible Metrics Guiding Principles