It is expected that from 2022, the Netherlands-based Utrecht University will officially phase out the use of the impact factor in how it recognizes and rewards research output and will use a new criteria to judge the academic output of its researchers by their commitment to open science, teamwork, public engagement and data sharing.
Featured speakers, Frank Miedema and Bianca Kramer in a recent edition of the ECLAC Library webinar series on Open Science, explained how a change in the academic culture of assessment from a quantitative to a more qualitative approach will have a deep impact on open science by revolutionising the ways in which researchers are evaluated and incentivised.
They both admitted that this approach would require a more descriptive narrative and would ask researchers to provide evidence of the ways in which their research has had an impact on society beyond the academic community. Moreover, they posit that the implications of this is that research performed outside of the academic community and perhaps in cooperation with external parties or with a specific goal-oriented approach, will receive the recognition that it actually deserves. As a result, as a part of an open science approach to doing research, the new criteria will be adapted and extended to take into account a multitude of approaches leading to new incentives for research.
A commitment to providing “Room for Everyone's Talent” therefore translates to a University community that is committed to rewarding both research teams and individuals who focus on open science thereby encouraging greater diversity in research output. In this way, the Utrecht University offers a novel approach in rewarding research output thereby actively contributing to open science.
This idea is gaining support throughout various academic circles and would have a major impact on current academic cultures and practices.
The video recording of the webinar is available on the youtube channel of the ECLAC Library: https://youtu.be/nohRvVvh3Fk
Videos and presentations of the ECLAC Library Cycle of Webinars on Open Science of 2021 and previous years can be found here: https://biblioguias.cepal.org/webinars
About the speakers:
Frank Miedema is Vice Rector of Research at Utrecht University and Chair of the Utrecht University Open Science Programme. He studied biochemistry at the University of Groningen, specialising in Immunology, with a minor in the Philosophy of Science. From January 2009 to March 2019, he was a dean and vice chairman of the Executive Board of the University Medical Center Utrecht.
Bianca Kramer is subject specialist Life Sciences and Medicine at Utrecht University Library and member of the working group on Recognition and Rewards of the Utrecht University Open Science Programme. She studied Biology at Wageningen University. She did her PhD at Radboud University Nijmegen, and subsequently did a postdoc in Toronto, Canada. Since 2008 she has been working at the Utrecht University Library.