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The Fonds de recherche du Québec sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

At their June 2020 meetings, the Boards of Directors of each of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) agreed to become signatories to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). In so doing, the FRQ join the three federal granting agencies, CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC, which signed DORA in the fall of 2019. Initiated by a group of editors and publishers of scholarly journals in 2012, DORA has since been endorsed by more than 1980 organizations around the world.

The Declaration is based on the general principle that journal-based metrics such as journal impact factors should not be used as a primary indicator of quality for research output. Funding agencies are called on to be specific about the criteria used in evaluating scientific productivity, with an emphasis on content, and to consider the value of all research outputs, including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.

DORA calls on the various actors in the research ecosystem – funding agencies, institutions, publishers, researchers, organizations that develop research output metrics – to get involved in ensuring the rigorous assessment of research output, specifically with respect to articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

“Scientific assessment is at the heart of the FRQ’s activities, so they are always on the lookout for best practices. Adhering to this Declaration confirms the approach already used by the FRQ to assess scientific articles based on their intrinsic merits and to consider other scientific achievements made by researchers and students. This is also in line with our firm commitment to create evaluation conditions that are conducive to open access publishing”.
–  Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec

In the coming months, the FRQ will examine how they can further reflect the principles set out in the Declaration. Evaluation committee members will be called upon to collaborate in the implementation of these principles.

Emmanuelle Lévesque
Research Ethics Advisor
Fonds de recherche du Québec
514 873-2114, ext. 1280