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Showing posts from May, 2020

The spirit of the San Francisco DORA in scientific meetings

The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) advocates for avoiding the use of journal impact factors in evaluations of scientists and their contributions. I very much agree with the idea, and so do the many signatories of the declaration, both personal and institutional. Impact-factor fascination syndrome (IFFS, the very thing DORA wants to counter) is however spreading and thriving in the research community.

I would propose to extend the spirit of DORA to scientific meetings: Speakers in adhering research meetings should avoid quoting journal names in what they show. Nowadays, the names of one or two authors and the year should suffice to find any paper, if there is no arXiv reference for instance. It sounds sensible that when speakers describe their work, they show the reference of where to find the relevant publication. But we all know that showing references to high-impact-factor journals is used to impress the audience (not to mention journal covers), and I can pe…