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Research metrics

Responsible research metrics

Responsible research metrics is the appropriate and responsible use of quantitative indicators in the assessment of research performance.

You could use metrics to assess your own work, as a part of a recruitment or promotion process or to assess the impact of research from a school or faculty.

Recent reports and initiatives advocating for responsible use of metrics include:

Funders increasingly require researchers to demonstrate their commitment to responsible research metrics. For example, Wellcome have published a policy on how to implement responsible and fair approaches for research assessment, and also some guidance for research organisations on how to implement the principles of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Considerations when using metrics

These webpages outline the different considerations you should take into account when you use metrics. In summary, they include:

  • Quality: high quality, innovative, rigorous research has the potential to attract a high number of citations but a direct correlation to high quality should not be assumed.
  • Disciplinary patterns: publication frequency and type (journal articles, conference proceedings, books) vary between disciplines. If you are comparing data from more than one discipline it is important to use standardised indicators such as percentages or averages.
  • Researcher profile: it is important to take into account factors that may affect researcher’s metrics, such as career stage, gender, geographical background, language and race‚Äč.

The bibliometric databases that provide publication data index different journals. Research metrics will vary depending on which database you use.

Responsible metrics at the University of Leeds

The University is committed to the use of peer review and expert judgment as the central component in the assessment of research outputs and wider research performance. It also recognises the value of quantitative metrics in supporting decision-making.

The University is committed to responsible research metrics and has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) signatory logo

The University of Leeds statement in support of responsible research metrics in the assessment of research is available on the Research and Innovation Service website. The Research Metrics group, which is a subgroup of Research Culture, is establishing priorities. More information, including what this means for researchers in a practical sense, will follow later in the academic year.