The Global Young Academy (GYA), InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and International Science Council (ISC) have joined forces in an initiative to take stock of developments and debates in research evaluation worldwide, across diverse research cultures and systems, and to re-imagine research evaluation for the 21st century.
The imperative to re-think the ways that researchers and research outputs are evaluated and assessed is increasingly clear and urgent. Research evaluation regimes and practices are having wide-ranging, complex and ambiguous effects, including on the culture of research, the quality of evidence informing policymaking, priorities in research and research funding, individual career trajectories and researchers’ well-being. These issues play out differently across scientific disciplines and regional contexts. Further, open science frameworks and moves towards mission-oriented science are changing traditional ways of doing and communicating research, requiring new thinking on research evaluation and assessment.
Innovative and progressive approaches to responsible research assessment are being developed and piloted by some higher education institutions and research funders in various countries around the world. However, a concerted global initiative is required to mobilize research and research funding communities, and higher education institutions, to develop and adopt ways of evaluating, assessing and funding research that enable research to fulfil its role as a global public good and to address today's challenges in more efficient, equitable, inclusive and cooperative ways.
An international Scoping Group has been formed to advise the three partner organizations on how they can together add value to existing efforts to reform research evaluation, such as those led by research funding agencies, governments and other significant actors. It is envisaged that a concerted, researcher-led initiative will give the global research community a stronger voice in shaping the future of research evaluation, helping chart a path to sustained, systemic change in evaluation cultures and practices.
This scoping process culminated in the publication of a global synthesis paper in May 2023.