Five years post-DORA: promoting best practices for research assessment

Mol Biol Cell. 2017 Nov 1;28(22):2941-2944. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E17-08-0534.


The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) was penned 5 years ago to articulate best practices for how we communicate and judge our scientific contributions. In particular, it adamantly declared that Journal Impact Factor (JIF) should never be used as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research contributions, or for hiring, promotion, or funding decisions. Since then, a heightened awareness of the damaging practice of using JIFs as a proxy for the quality of individual papers, and to assess an individual's or institution's accomplishments has led to changes in policy and the design and application of best practices to more accurately assess the quality and impact of our research. Herein I summarize the considerable progress made and remaining challenges that must be met to ensure a fair and meritocratic approach to research assessment and the advancement of research.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / ethics*
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Humans
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Publishing / standards