On 29 September 2021, BNJ signs DORA, the Declaration On Research Assessment (https://sfdora.org/), supporting its vision to advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all scholarly disciplines.
DORA focuses on the particular problem of the misuse of Journal Impact Factors in the assessment of peer reviewed journal articles. The key principle is “Do not use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions.”
By signing DORA, BNJ is committing to playing its part in improving the culture around research evaluation, driving positive change, working in partnership with communities across and beyond the research ecosystem.
Signing DORA also indicates a direction of travel to ensure that BNJ follows best practice in all areas of work. When using metrics to talk about the qualities of the journal with prospective authors or subscribers, BNJ will always aim to present several relevant metrics together, to provide a richer view of journal performance. Front and center of messaging has to be the point that metrics at most support, but certainly do not replace, qualitative review.
In other words, metrics can still be used as part of the assessments, but only as a complement to expert assessment of research outputs and only where those metrics are appropriate. Simply put, it is the quality of an output as assessed by peers that will be central to assessment as well as the content a journal has previously published and its aims & scope, not where a piece of work was published, how many citations it has, or the social media reach scores (alternative metrics).
This should help researchers better identify the most appropriate home for their research first time around, reducing the number of papers that are submitted to unsuitable journals.