EUA Roadmap on Research Assessment in the Transition to Open Science
The European University Association (EUA) has continuously supported European universities in the transition towards Open Science and, in particular, to Open Access. Upon recommendation of its Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science, EUA has developed a variety of initiatives in this area, as outlined in the EUA Roadmap on Open Access to Research Publications. That roadmap mainly focused on introducing Open Access as the main model of accessing research publications. Looking ahead to the more global transition towards Open Science, with its broader framework beyond accessing research publications, the Expert Group is starting to address new models of research assessment and evaluation at all levels, as these are instrumental to achieving a fairer, more open and transparent system driven by researchers.
Open Science (which encompasses open research in all disciplinary areas) is not yet an established practice and embedding it in scientific communities remains challenging since it takes a number of different forms. Open Access to research publications represents just one of the necessary stages of Open Science, and Open Science as a whole is still far from its full potential, which requires a substantial transformation based on the principles of sharing and collaboration. New future quantitative and qualitative models of research assessment and evaluation must reflect and promote such a novel attitude.
The topic of research assessment, namely the search for improved ways of assessment, is becoming increasingly important for the scientific community at large and for a variety of national and European level policy makers. This development is inexorably linked to the transition towards Open Science.
New approaches to research assessment at all levels (e.g. of research publications and projects, of researchers, and of laboratories and universities) are emerging, reflecting the urgent need to change the current paradigm. Multifactorial and multidimensional assessments, taking into account a wide range of parameters beyond the typical journal impact factor, are needed. The European Commission, in the framework of its activities on Open Science and Horizon 2020, has also developed several initiatives on research assessment. It has set-up working groups and published reports on metrics, rewardsand skillsfor Open Science.
The present EUA roadmap was approved by the EUA Council at its meeting on 4 April 2018, in Vienna (Austria). It follows on from a recommendation of EUA’s Research Policy Working Group and has been prepared by the EUA Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science. This roadmap addresses a selection of topics related to new approaches in research assessment, including the assessment of research outcomes, researchers and research units and organisations (laboratories, research centres and universities). With this document, EUA aims to raise awareness and support institutions in the development of research assessment approaches that focus on research quality, potential and future impact, and that take into account Open Science practices.2EUA acknowledges the variety of possible approaches to research assessment, which are dependent on the specifics of each institution’s profile, academic disciplines, and the degree to which institutions are linked to external private and public organisations. EUA further outlines its vision for the future of research assessment and how it can contribute to a swift transition towards Open Science.