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Research assessment

Advancing approaches for assessing research 

Meeting of the Strategic Installation Grants Committee, Hinxton/UK, 2019

EMBO engages in policy work on research assessment and its impact on evaluations of scientists and their work. Fair assessment of applications and project proposals can be compromised through the inappropriate use of quantitative indicators such as publications metrics or through biases. We foster the sharing of best practices for conducting research assessments, and initiatives for improving them.

EMBO is a founding member of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), a global initiative to advance practical approaches to research and researcher assessment across all scholarly disciplines.

Since the Declaration’s publication in 2013, DORA has transformed from a call to action into an active initiative. EMBO actively supports DORA.

Bernd Pulverer, Head of EMBO Scientific Publishing, serves on DORA’s Steering Committee.

EMBO has reinforced its commitment to improving research assessment by signing the Agreement to Reform Research Assessment, drawn up by the Coalition on Advancing Research Assessment (January 2023). EMBO will now assess its research assessment processes to ensure they are in line with the commitments of the agreement.

Peer review, both for grantmaking and for scientific publishing, is the cornerstone of quality control in science. Researchers carry out this activity as part of their contributions to scientific research. EMBO is driving discussions on how to recognize peer review in the assessment of researchers.

Most recently, EMBO has engaged in recognizing peer review for preprints, in a meeting co-organized with HHMI and ASAPbio Recognizing Preprint Peer Review , 1-2 December 2022. The meeting was covered in an article in Science.

EMBO organizes and leads sessions at international conferences on issues relating to research assessment and peer review.

A selection of upcoming events:

No upcoming events at this moment

A selection of past events:

Recognizing Preprint Peer Review, a meeting co-organized with HHMI and ASAPbio, 1-2 December 2022. The meeting was covered in an article in Science.

Experiments in evaluation: lessons from randomisation in research funding. An SNSF, EMBO & RoRI virtual workshop
1 and 2 December 2021

Understanding peer review and government grant selection process, 6th Annual LymeMIND conference, 23 October, 2021. Video of the session

Setting Positive Incentives in Research Assessment: How to align criteria with research integrity principles, ENRIO 2021 Congress on Research Integrity Practice, 27-29 September 2021

Emerging Trends at the Intersection of Research Publishing, Open Science, and Academic Reward and Recognition Systems, CellBio2020 Virtual Meeting, 2 December 2020

Addressing Roadblocks in Research Assessment Reform, EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), 3 September 2020

How to Improve Research Assessment during the Triage Phase of Application Review, ASCB | EMBO Meeting, December 2019

EMBO is a partner in RoRI, an international consortium of funders, universities and technologists. The group uses evidence-based approaches to experimentation to improve the way research is funded, practised, and evaluated to ensure that it benefits more people. 

The EMBO Policy programme is involved in the RoRI workstream on Randomisation.

Read the The experimental research funder’s handbook produced by EMBO with RoRI, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) at Nesta.

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