On September18, 2018, Irstea signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The aim of the declaration is to improve the assessment of scientific research, particularly by decreasing the Journal Impact Factor.
The Journal Impact Factor, used to estimate the visibility of a journal, is often used as a primary parameter to compare the scientific output of individuals and institutions. It nevertheless presents a number of deficiencies as an assessment tool. DORA recommends that funding agencies, institutions and scientists themselves take into account the quality of content within an article, rather than the fame of the journal in which it is published. It also encourages organizations and agencies to recognize the value in using other research output, such as data, software or intellectual property, to assess research on its own merits. To this end, 18 recommendations have been put forward to improve assessment relevance and encourage the development of new indicators relating to the importance and impact of research output.
By signing the declaration, Irstea has confirmed that its assessment approach (publication indicators, recruitment, regular assessment, etc.) is in line with the declaration.
Over 530 global organizations and 12,500 individuals have already signed the San Francisco Declaration created by scientists and scientific journal editors. In France, Irstea is the 6th public scientific and technical research establishment (EPST) to sign the declaration, following in the footsteps of Inra, CNRS, Inserm, Inria and IRD.