Responsible evaluation and decision making

For improving the assessment of research, the San Francisco declaration (DORA) was introduced in 2012 as a set of recommendations by a group of editors and publishers of scholarly journals. To date DORA is signed by almost 2,000 organizations and 16,000 individuals globally.

The main recommendations of the DORA argue for:

  • Qualitative research evaluation as the basis for comprehensive evaluation;
  • Responsible use of research metrics;
  • Consideration of the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software) in addition to research publications;
  • Consideration of a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.

The unconscious bias, also called as implicit bias, refers to our tendency for stereotype-confirming thoughts that pass spontaneously through our minds. It sets people up to overgeneralize sometimes leading to discrimination and it may impact also on reviews.

Therefore, when evaluating and making decisions, one must address the technical and ethical issues relevant to the subject matter and objectives of the evaluation and monitor unconscious bias.