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San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

NSERC, along with four Canadian research funding agencies, has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The other signatories are the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), This link will take you to another Web site Genome Canada, and the This link will take you to another Web site Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). In a joint statement, the agencies have reaffirmed their commitment to meaningful assessment of excellence in research funding.

About DORA

The This link will take you to another Web site San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated, beyond the widely used journal impact factor. The declaration is comprised of a set of This link will take you to another Web site recommendations developed by a group of journal editors and publishers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco in 2012. Over 1,500 organizations and 15,000 individuals have signed DORA, including research funders, research institutions, publishers, metrics providers, and researchers.

DORA recognizes that scholarly outputs are not limited to published journal articles but can also include article preprints, datasets, software, protocols, well-trained researchers, societal outcomes and policy changes resulting from research.

DORA aims to advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all scholarly disciplines. It draws attention to the problem of the overreliance on journal-based metrics in hiring, promotion, and funding decisions, and encourages a community-driven change.

Our commitment to research excellence in Canada

A number of tri-agency initiatives and policies already support research excellence and align with the recommendations in DORA, including This link will take you to another Web site research data management practices, This link will take you to another Web site open access publishing, This link will take you to another Web site responsible conduct of research, This link will take you to another Web site ethical conduct of research involving humans; and the commitment to re-examine research excellence through the Tri-Agency Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan.

Several aspects of NSERC’s approach to research assessment currently reflect the DORA principles, such as application processes that encourage the inclusion of outputs broader than published journal articles and peer review processes that examine the quality of contributions. NSERC values continuous improvement in developing and implementing evaluation practices and will explore other ways to more meaningfully assess research quality and impact. This includes evaluating different types of research outputs so that researchers’ work can be assessed on its own merits. As a signatory to DORA, NSERC is committed to excellence in research funding and to ensuring that a wide range of research results and outcomes are considered and valued as part of the assessment process.

Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions at dora@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.