On May 17, 2013, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) launched, with support from journals, publishers, individuals and scientific organisations. On the DORA site there are links to several editorials in Science, Journal of Cell Biology, eLife and others, as well as a growing number of blog posts. Please do look at the full declaration, but here is a piece:
"General Recommendation: Do not use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist's contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions."
This is a much-needed initiative. Thomson Reuters Journal Impact Factors (available to WU users in the Journal Citation Reports/JCRweb database) have long been criticized, particularly when they are mis-used as measures of article and researcher quality by tenure-review committees, funding agencies, etc. But the Impact Factor has been around a long time and is relatively easy to obtain and understand. There are many other research assessment possibilities but none as easy to implement institutionally. I look forward to progress in this area. This Research Impact and Evaluation guide includes links to many related resources.
I don't see this blog post on the DORA site so I'll share it also: Impact Factors: A Broken System; there will probably be a lot written in the coming weeks about this.
Although not specifically related to DORA, the June 2013 issue of Elsevier's newsletter Research Trends is devoted to Research Assessment. I found these two articles interesting: The use of assessment reports to generate and measure societal impact of research and The Challenges of Measuring Social Impact Using Altmetrics.