The Royal Society of Chemistry has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), continuing its drive to modernise how to measure excellence in the chemical sciences.
The Royal Society of Chemistry is the first major chemical society to sign up to the declaration’s principles to assess research outputs in a fair and balanced manner, and this follows the largest overhaul of the prizes and awards portfolio in 150 years.
DORA was developed in 2012 during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco. Its principles highlight a need to assess research on its own merits and to use opportunities provided by online publication, such as unconstrained page length, in addition to adopting new indicators of significance and impact.
As a publisher, the Society partners with Altmetrics to provide a range of article-level metrics, for example citations and social media mentions, and provide unrestricted access to citation metadata as a participant in the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC).
In signing DORA the Society is now committing to review any reference list constraints in research articles. The Society is encouraging authors to cite original work rather than review articles to promote credit where it is due. Some of its journals already encourage author contribution statements – this policy will be expanded to the whole portfolio.
And as a professional body, the Society’s recent work on prizes and awards, inclusion and diversity and its positions on research culture and open-access science also reflect DORA’s case for rethinking assessment of scientific output.
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