Few universities adopt rules against impact-factor abuse

A survey of British institutions reveals that few have taken concrete steps to stop the much-criticised misuse of research metrics in the evaluation of academics’ work. The results offer an early insight into global efforts to clamp down on such practices, writes Nisha Gaind for Nature.

More than three-quarters of the 96 research organisations that responded to the survey said they did not have a research-metrics policy, according to data presented at a London meeting on metrics on 8 February. The same number – 75 – had not signed up to the Declaration on Research Assessment, an international concord that aims to eliminate the misuse of research metrics, which was developed in San Francisco in December 2012.

The Declaration on Research Assessment calls for panels responsible for academic promotion and hiring to stop misusing metrics such as the journal impact factor – which measures the average number of citations accumulated by papers in a given journal over two years – as a way to assess individual researchers. It urges panels to assess the content of papers and quality of research instead.
Full report on the Nature site