Drei Jahre “The Metric Tide” – Responsible Research Metrics in UK

Gestern wurde der Bericht “UK Progress towards the use of metrics responsibly: three years on from The Metric Tide report” (PDF) des UK Forum for Responsible Metrics veröffentlicht.

Executive Summary (S. 4-5, CC BY):

Over the last five years the use, and abuse, of metrics in research assessment has been in sharp focus, with three major frameworks – the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the Leiden Manifesto and The Metric Tide – all calling for a step change in the culture of metrics use.

The UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics (FFRRM) was established in September 2016, and provides advocacy for the UK higher education sector on the use of research metrics responsibly. This report outlines the work of the FFRRM to date, Professor James Wilsdon reflects on progress made in the UK since the independent review of metrics titled The Metric Tide which he chaired in 2015, and the newly appointed Chair of the FFFRM, Professor Max Lu (Vice-Chancellor at the University of Surrey) provides a forward look, outlining the FFRRM’s priorities and next steps.

The FFRRM’s work to date has focused on advising the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 panels on the use of metrics in the research assessment exercise in the UK; developing a set of principles on the governance, purchasing and operation of research infrastructure; and facilitating discussion regarding the culture and the use of research metrics in UK institutions.
The key aim of this report is to reflect the recent discussion, and results from a survey conducted by the FFRRM, about the existing culture of the use of research metrics. The FFRRM hosted a successful event in February 2018 titled ‘The turning tide: a new culture of research metrics’. Over 140 attendees joined, from a variety of stakeholder groups. From the event, it is clear that the UK HE sector wishes to change the existing culture, but that implementing change is multifaceted, and challenging. The three panel sessions brought together stakeholders to discuss the existing frameworks implementation and impact on the culture of research metrics, the researcher’s perspective, and the wider implications of the use of metrics.

The discussion at the event shows that although the UK is engaged, more work needs to be done to share practice and instigate change – it was agreed that this is not a straightforward task. Professor James Wilsdon, who chaired The Metric Tide review, reflects that we are making steps in the right direction, but more effort is needed to embed principles in institutions, to develop better indicators and to foster more sensitive management frameworks.

Professor Max Lu, the newly appointed chair of the FFRRM sets priorities for the group and outlines next steps. He highlights that the FFRRM have a leadership and advocacy role to guide the sector on the use of metrics responsibly. There is a need for better understanding of what works and why. The FFRRM will define communities of practice, and engage with international networks to steer the policy development for the sector.

The FFRRM are delighted to launch this report at the Euroscience Open Forum 2018 (ESOF) event today, with two members talking about how we can use metrics to support open research. This marks the beginning of the FFRRM’s international discussions.

UK Forum for Responsible Metrics 2018. UK Progress towards the use of metrics responsibly: three years on from The Metric Tide report. URL: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/research-policy/open-science/The%20Forum%20for%20Responsible%20Research%20Metrics/UK%20progress%20towards%20the%20use%20of%20metrics%20responsibly%2010072018.pdf [Stand 2018-07-11].

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