In the last decade, there has been a general movance in the international, especially European, research community demanding that the evaluation of research and researchers’ careers be overhauled to overcome the “publish or perish” culture and to better reward the variety of contributions to academia and society that researchers are making.
In this field, Arqus universities have engaged in:
- Internal analysis and recommendations
- Participation in Working Groups of the Coalition for the Advancement of Research Assessment
- Arqus Task Force on Research Assessment Reform
Internal analysis and recommendations:
As part of the Arqus R.I. Project, a working group was in charge of collecting a set of Best Practices on research assessment at Arqus universities in the Spring of 2021.
Based on this Best Practices Report, key staff related to research assessment at Arqus universities were asked to respond a series of questions. The replies to these questions were summarised and discussed in an internal Discussion Paper. As a result of the previous documents, a Report on Skills and Competences in several assessment scenarios was drawn up, containing Recommendations both for assessors and the assessed.
The insights and results of the whole process were shared at a f2f dissemination event at University of Padua, where speakers representing the European Research Council Executive Agency – ERCEA, the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research – ANVUR and CoARA presented their perspectives and discussed with high-level researchers and governance of UNIPD.
Participation in Working Groups of the Coalition for the Advancement of Research Assessment (CoARA)
Several Arqus universities are actively participating in CoARA Working Groups, such as the WG Reforming Academic Career Assessment and the WG Towards Open Infrastructues for Responsible Research Assesment , as well as in some national chapters of CoARA. Most Arqus Alliance universities are signatories of the CoARA Agreement.
Arqus Task Force for Research Assessment Reform
This Task Force is lead by University of Graz and was set up in 2023 to share experiences among Arqus universities, as well as to favour mutual learning and support in their processes of implementation of alternative research assessment approaches.
The University of Graz started a pilot on research assesment reform in 2022 and started by inviting its Arqus partners to be their “critical friend”. In the meantime, other Arqus universities have also started reform processes (e.g. Vilnius University, University of Minho) and are sharing their experiences with colleagues in the Task Force, allowing a collaborative analysis of pros and cons of various approaches and favouring a mutual learning process.