A joint paper from the Global Young Academy, InterAcademy Partnership and the International Science Council.
In 2023 the Global Young Academy (GYA), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the International Science Council (ISC), released “The Future of Research Evaluation: A Synthesis of Current Debates and Developments.” Building on this, we are pleased to present the “Snapshots of Reform Researcher Evaluation within Science Organizations”. This report reflects the practices and aspirations of our respective memberships and lays the groundwork for future actions.

The conversation around research evaluation has gained momentum, emphasizing the need to move beyond traditional metrics that prioritize quantity over quality. Initiatives like the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) have been pivotal in driving this dialogue. It has become clear that systemic change is necessary to create an environment where all researchers can thrive. Derived from desk-based research, surveys, and interviews, this report provides insights into the current state of researcher evaluation. The diverse perspectives captured highlight both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach is neither feasible nor desirable. We are encouraged by the innovative practices and pilot initiatives of our member organizations. These efforts demonstrate a willingness to experiment with new evaluation formats, such as narrative CVs and broader impact assessments, which provide a more comprehensive view of a researcher’s contributions. However, the interdependencies within the researcher assessment, publication, university ranking systems and other metrics mean that change is not straightforward, and often requires a critical fraction of the researcher community to adopt change together.

The report finds that our organizations can play a role in supporting the reform of researcher evaluation through:

  1. Championing missing voices
  2. Lending the credibility needed to put reform on the agenda
  3. Supporting interventions that have reached their ‘tipping point’
  4. Protecting researcher mobility within the global system
  5. Promoting the exchange of ideas and lessons

Some of these recommendations are already embedded in the core mission of our organizations, and the GYA, IAP and ISC are committed to supporting our members through this transformative period. By fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and advocating for policy changes, we aim to build a more robust and resilient research evaluation system.

This paper was authored by CultureBase. This activity was supported by a funding contribution from the Royal Society, UK.