Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment addresses language diversity

An Agreement for reforming research assessment, which builds on European Commission's scoping report "Towards reform of Research assessment", was published on 20 July 2022. The agreement was drafted by Science Europe, the European University Association, and Dr Karen Stroobants, with input from over 350 research organisations from more than 40 countries. 

The collection of signatures to the Agreement will be launched on 28 September 2022. “By signing this Agreement, signatories are entitled to become a member of the Coalition. While acknowledging that this Agreement does not have any legally binding effect, it represents a public commitment to contribute actively and constructively to reforming research assessment.” Signatories agree to start reviewing their assessment processes by the end of 2023 and implement changes by the end of 2027.

In addition to principles for overarching conditions and for assessment criteria and processes, the agreement outlines the core commitments, which include two commitments to enable better recognition of the diverse practices and activities that maximise the quality of research as well as two commitments to enable a move away from inappropriate uses of metrics. Two core commitments recognize language as key dimension of diversity in research:

1. Recognise the diversity of contributions to, and careers in, research in accordance with the needs and nature of the research. Changes in assessment practices should enable recognition of the broad diversity, among other, of "valuable contributions that researchers make to science and for the benefit of society, including diverse outputs beyond journal publications and irrespective of the language in which they are communicated".

3. Abandon inappropriate uses in research assessment of journal- and publicationbased metrics, in particular inappropriate uses of Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-index. In particular, this means, among other, "assessing outputs based on metrics relating to publication venue, format or language".

The agreement also contains Annex 4 – Toolbox: practical tools and options to consider. Regarding the commitment to consider the diversity of contributions, the toolbox proposes to "value diverse outputs (FAIR data sets, replication studies, registered reports32, pre-prints) in different languages in accordance with the Helsinki initiative". 

Read full-text "Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment" on the European Commission website.