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Taylor & Francis signs up to principles outlined in DORA supporting balanced and fair research assessment

Taylor & Francis Group has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which aims to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

Signatories to DORA recognize that the Journal Impact Factor should not be used as an all-encompassing tool for evaluating research. They advocate for a sea change where all research articles are assessed on their own merits and impact, and not assessed on the basis of their publication venue. By signing DORA, Taylor & Francis aligns with these concepts.

Taylor & Francis Managing Director, Researcher Services, Leon Heward-Mills, says: “We firmly believe that researchers should be assessed on the quality and broad impact of their work. While journal metrics can help support this process, they should not be used as a quick substitute for proper review. The quality of an individual research article should always be assessed on its own merits rather than on the metrics of the journal in which it was published.”

Taylor & Francis has long been involved in activities to improve research assessment and already meets most of the recommendations set out by DORA. For example, Taylor & Francis Online has displayed article-level metrics such as downloads and citations for many years, and Altmetric Attention Scores have been available on the site since 2015. We were also one of the first of the large publishers to join the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). Our open research publisher, F1000 Research, was one of the original 75 organizations to sign DORA.

“Supporting a much broader assessment of research output, where researchers are recognized for the impact of their work beyond the academy, is part of our larger commitment to making research accessible to all in order to drive human progress. We need impactful research now from innovators around the world to address global challenges,” says Taylor & Francis’ CEO Annie Callanan.

In order to provide a richer view of journal performance in accordance with DORA’s recommendations, we’ve recently introduced a new section to Taylor & Francis Online which displays an enhanced range of available citation, usage, and publishing process metrics for each journal. This development is accompanied by new guidance for researchers on the use and limitations of journal metrics.

Professor Stephen Curry, the DORA Steering Committee Chair says: “Taylor & Francis’ decision to sign DORA is a public show of support for real change in how the outputs of research are assessed. We are pleased to see that they have already begun to modify journal information pages to down-weight the Impact Factor and emphasize that articles should always be assessed on their own merits. We will be happy to do what we can to help Taylor & Francis promote DORA’s approach to responsible research assessment throughout the company and beyond, to the international community of scholars.”

Taylor & Francis plans to continue to build on this record, working with colleagues, editors, and society partners to encourage fair and responsible use of research metrics.