Centre for Journalology

Researcher Assessment

We are interested in evaluating researcher assessment and in developing, implementing, and testing novel metrics for assessing research(ers). We seek to contribute to the creation of responsible metrics that reduce research waste and promote transparency, sharing, and integrity. You can learn about some of our recent work in this space below.

The Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers

Summary

For knowledge to benefit research and society, it must be trustworthy. Trustworthy research is robust, rigorous, and transparent at all stages of design, execution, and reporting. Assessment of researchers still rarely includes considerations related to trustworthiness, rigor, and transparency. We have developed the Hong Kong Principles (HKPs) as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity with a specific focus on the need to drive research improvement through ensuring that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded for behaviors that strengthen research integrity. We present five principles: responsible research practices; transparent reporting; open science (open research); valuing a diversity of types of research; and recognizing all contributions to research and scholarly activity. For each principle, we provide a rationale for its inclusion and provide examples where these principles are already being adopted.

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Endorsing the principles

Both institutions and individuals can endorse the Hong Kong Principles.

Media interviews, resources, and dissemination tools related to the Hong Kong Principles can also be found on the World Conferences on Research Integrity page.

Academic criteria for tenure and promotion in biomedical sciences faculties

Summary

Research Question: What is the proportion of traditional (e.g., number of publications) and non-traditional criteria (e.g., data sharing) that are present within promotion and tenure guidelines? Methods: 170 randomly selected universities from the Leiden Ranking of world universities list were considered for inclusion in this cross-sectional study. Two reviewers searched for guidelines applied when assessing scientists for promotion and tenure among institutions that had biomedical faculties. Where faculty-level guidelines were not available, institution-level guidelines were sought. Available documents were reviewed and the presence of traditional and non-traditional criteria was noted in guidelines for assessing assistant professors, associate professors, professors, and the granting of tenure. The percentage of criteria that were included in promotion and tenure guidelines were compared through a paired sample t-test, and exploratory regression analyses were conducted to consider factors related to the presence of traditional and non-traditional criteria. Study answer and limitations: Across countries, institutions with faculties of biomedicine or health sciences (n=92) focus on rewarding traditional research criteria (peer-reviewed publications, authorship order, journal impact, grant funding, and national or international reputation) as opposed to non-traditional criteria. There was substantial variability across continents on whether any guidelines were available at all with a substantial rate of non-response from specific regions. What this study adds: This study demonstrates that the current evaluation of scientists described within biomedical faculties promotion and tenure guidelines emphasizes traditional criteria as opposed to non-traditional criteria. This may reinforce research practices that are known to be problematic while insufficiently supporting the conduct of better-quality research and open science. Institutions should consider incentivizing non-traditional criteria.

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