University abandons impact factor in hiring, promotion

A Dutch university says it is formally abandoning the impact factor – a standard measure of scientific success – in all hiring and promotion decisions, writes Chris Woolston for Nature.

By early 2022, every department at Utrecht University in the Netherlands will judge its scholars by other standards, including their commitment to teamwork and their efforts to promote open science, says Paul Boselie, a governance researcher and the project leader for the university’s new Recognition and Rewards scheme. “Impact factors don’t really reflect the quality of an individual researcher or academic,” he says. “We have a strong belief that something has to change, and abandoning the impact factor is one of those changes.”

The new scheme is part of Utrecht’s Open Science programme, a multi-track effort to make research more transparent and cooperative. Open science fellows embedded within each department will assess progress towards open access publishing, public engagement and data sharing.
Full report on the Nature site