A common complaint about the Spanish scientific system is that the way researchers’ work is evaluated is based on weight. Incentives such as six-year terms, which require a minimum of scientific publications to receive a salary increase of €125 per month for full professors and €150 for full professors, scientific work is evaluated every six years. The primary measure was the number of scientific publications in scientific journals classified according to their impact factor. This has led to the evaluation of studies that were sometimes not considered important by other academics,…
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A common complaint about the Spanish scientific system is that the way researchers’ work is evaluated is based on weight. Incentives such as six-year terms, which require a minimum of scientific publications to receive a salary increase of €125 per month for full professors and €150 for full professors, scientific work is evaluated every six years. The primary measure was the number of scientific publications in scientific journals classified according to their impact factor. This led to the evaluation of studies that were sometimes not considered important by other academics, who did not cite them, or works that had no social impact. This way of measuring science is also behind the proliferation of special issues in scientific journals, which charge fees to publish articles, making way for unrelated studies that improve a scientist’s standing for public money.
In a first step to begin fixing the broken system, the National Agency for Quality Evaluation and Accreditation (ANECA) Published on Monday A draft resolution aims to change the criteria for evaluating six-year research periods. For the first time, everyone who wants to express their opinion on the initiative or suggest changes, You will be able to do this Until November 19.
On the one hand, the evaluation of articles will not only be quantitative, in terms of the number of articles published and the impact of the journal. It will also be necessary to explain the value of the contribution through narrative. In addition, qualitative aspects that have not been taken into consideration before will be assessed, such as participation in archaeological excavations not necessarily reflected in a publication in that six-year period, or studies or reports of value to society or science.
The new evaluation system will also improve the value of publishing in open access repositories. As shown Angel Maria Delgado Vasquez, professor of documentation at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, said that although “the idea of evaluating repositories already exists in the 2011 Science Law, there was a lack of correspondence between what was read there and reality, because I evaluated using journals that were not open.” Access. Isidro Aguilo, of CSIC’s Institute for Goods and Public Policy, who sees the changes in the system as positive, warns of a problem that could arise in this department. In addition to Scopus and Web of Science, which are monopolies of article abstract and citation databases used in evaluation, Dimensions is included, a database linked to Springer Nature, the publisher that publishes the journal. nature And He charges 9,750 euros To publish articles. “It would be better to promote journals that don’t include these accusations or that don’t include offensive accusations, such as university journals or scientific societies,” Ajello says.
Moving from a relatively simple system such as weighted evaluation to a more complex system, with the inclusion of new evaluation criteria or the inclusion of a narrative of one’s work, will make the evaluation task difficult, at least initially. Thousands of files (in the last call, 17,000 researchers were evaluated). Ajello believes that “making the right narrative will require increased effort on the part of researchers to include the right clues, and they will have to resort to the help of university libraries or even consulting firms.” This will also increase the work of evaluation committees, which are accustomed to other evaluation criteria, which will lead to conflicting interpretations and delays.
Following this first contact with the new standards, which follow the international recommendations contained in the San Francisco Declaration on Research Evaluation (DoraAnd in the agreements and principles of the Alliance for the Advancement of Research Evaluation (Kwara), starting next year, will begin to be implemented in Accreditation to be a university professor.
Delgado Vazquez believes that although it is a profound and necessary change to break the vicious cycle in which the scientific system has fallen, it will be an approach that will improve the lives of scientists, freed from the pressure of publishing a large number of items that go nowhere. “Less will be published Leaves“But it is better to say things that are meaningful and have value,” says the documentary filmmaker. In addition, there will be a transition period during which the previous standards will continue to be taken into account so that adaptation to the new system will be gradual.
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