National Coordination for Reforming Research Assessment

Pexels Dana Tentis

Image based on a work by Dana Tentis, Pexels

CoARA ( is being adopted by a number of Swiss higher education institutions. The 10 principles of CoARA imply a profound change in the criteria for evaluating scientific research, and at all levels of this evaluation, in a systemic way. For a successful implementation, university management will therefore need the support of researchers within their … Read more

Shenanigans with Impact Factors 1: The curious case of Acta Crystallographica Section A

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"Drop" by Arek Socha, Pixabay

“More is better” surely also applies to the journal impact factor (IF), wouldn’t you agree? A paper published in a high IF journal clearly must create a significant impact in the research community. Or is that an oversimplification? Taking a closer look, we will see how an impact factor can go up and down unexpectedly. … Read more

How important are international collaborations for research in Switzerland and the UK?

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Switzerland and the UK are partly barred from participation in the huge research programme Horizon Europe. This limits access to research funding for scientists in both countries and might hinder international collaborations in larger projects. The loss of these funding opportunities and a potential loss of EU collaborations might have a negative impact on these … Read more

The wonderful world of Open Science? The case of eLife

The case of eLife, a life science journal, shows that Open Science is not an easy task and can generate many open questions and uncertainties in the assessment of research. eLife drastically changed its peer review procedure this year, for example, by revoking editorial decisions for acceptance and rejection of a manuscript. Perhaps disciplines focusing on individual assessment, such as psychology or medicine, could give some perspectives on how to deal with uncertainty in research assessment. A broader set of information is necessary that includes peer review ratings and a set of bibliometric indicators beyond the classical citation impact indicators. The quality of information in terms of reliability, validity, and fairness should be explicitly taken into account.

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