Champion alternatives to traditional academic metrics & rewards

While there have been calls and discussions to raise awareness of the overreliance on traditional academic metrics to assess research quality, such as citation metrics and publication in high impact factor journals, change has been slow.

At Emerald, we recognise there is a global need for responsible research assessment, so we are championing alternatives to traditional academic metrics and rewards through our Real Impact Manifesto commitments. 

Here you can find out more about what we’re doing and our thoughts on how we can drive change.

Thought-provoking content, helping to drive change


How close are we to reaching more responsible research assessment across the globe? (parts 1 & 2)

Part 1

Part 2

Calls from the research community and initiatives like the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), The Leiden Manifesto, and the Hong Kong Principles have gone a long way to raise awareness over the misuse of proxy measures for assessing the quality of research.

They have also stimulated discussion around responsible research assessment and the need for broader and contextualised approaches that consider the reach of research beyond academia.

More than 21,000 individuals and organisations across the world have signed DORA, leading some universities to establish responsible metrics policies for faculty hiring, promotion, tenure and research evaluation. Publishers have committed to making broader article indicators available, while funders have agreed to consider a wider range of measures to celebrate research success such as the diversity of roles contributing to research achievements).

Despite growing support for reforms to existing research evaluation approaches, changes in practices are slow and incremental. This is in part due to the complex nature of the task which will require coordination of actions from multiple stakeholders.

In these podcasts, we discuss the current challenges to the research assessment systems, the initiatives behind the growing momentum for change, the tools and frameworks available to implement these changes and the roles of the various stakeholders involved.

Find out more and read the transcripts

Speakers’ biographies:

Dr Elizabeth Gadd is a Research Policy Manager at Loughborough University. Lizzie has an extensive research background in scholarly communication and open research. She chairs the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) Research Evaluation Group, and Champions the ARMA Research Evaluation Special Interest Group. In 2020, Lizzie was the recipient of the INORMS Award for Excellence in Research Management Leadership.

Dr Noémie Aubert Bonn is an early career researcher who is currently undertaking post-doctoral research at Hasselt University in Belgium and at Amsterdam UMC in the Netherlands. During her PhD at Hasselt University, Noémie explored different stakeholder’s perspectives on the impact that research assessments have on research practices and integrity. Noémie’s post-doctoral research continues on this topic, complemented with her participation in an EU-funded project that developed a toolbox to help research institutions and funders build procedures and environments that promote research integrity.

Dr. Dasapta Erwin Irawan is an assistant professor in hydrogeology at the Faculty of Earth Sciences and Technology, at the Institut Teknologi Bandung. He is also actively participating in promoting the open science movement and the importance of science communications to Indonesia’s research ecosystem. In 2017 with other colleagues, he created the first preprint server in Indonesia with the support of the Center for Open Science. Then in a collaboration with Indonesia Science Institute and Indonesia Open Science Team, he also led the initiation of a community-led digital archive for unpublished preprints of Indonesian research communication. Dasapta is also known for his sketch work used to communicate science to a wider audience.

Press release

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Our stance

Our stance on DORA

In February 2019 we were one of the first publishers to sign up to DORA, the Declaration on Research Assessment, supporting its vision.

A core thrust of DORA is that journal-based metrics are often misused and ill applied in research and researcher evaluation.

Signing DORA is a natural extension to Emerald’s commitment to driving positive change, working in partnership with communities across and beyond the research ecosystem.

More Than Our Rank

Emerald Publishing was one of the first publishers to sign up to DORA and support its vision “to advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally”. We are pleased to be adding our support to the global initiative, More Than Our Rank, reinforcing our commitment to promoting best practices in research evaluation.

Since the launch of our first Real Impact Manifesto in 2018, we have been challenging outdated practices such as the use of journal-based metrics in research and researcher evaluation. Despite some great progresses, we realise that significant changes will require a multi-sectorial approach.

Our renewed Real Impact Manifesto 2022 and  Are you in? initiative is doing just that – a call for a collective effort to work towards a fairer, more equitable environment for research to thrive and where those within it can reach their full potential.

Tools & frameworks


SCOPE framework for research evaluation

The International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) Research Evaluation Group (REG) published an 18-page guide to their framework for responsible research evaluation called SCOPE.

Find out more

Academia’s contribution to driving societal change

Now in its fourth year, our Time for Change survey explores the challenges within academic culture and gauges interest for change from across the globe.

The global survey was conducted during July–August 2022 and in total received 1,427 responses from academics worldwide.

Take a look at the main findings from the report relating to research evaluation and the key factors that are holding back or driving societal change.

About 'are you in?'

Our sector makes an incredible difference to the world, but it’s shrouded in unhelpful traditions, outdated measures of impact and barriers to participation.

We’re seeing green shoots of progress, but significant change will require the entire sector to commit and act. This is why we’ve relaunched our Real Impact Manifesto which asks you to join us in working towards a fairer, more equitable environment where research can have a real-world impact and those within it can reach their full potential. We outline six commitments where we can work together for change – will you join us?

Pledge your supportFind out more

Pledge your support

Together we can help inform, develop, and inspire action towards advancing the impact agenda.

Join the shared movement by adding your name or institution to the support pledge here. We'll then add your name to the list of signatories, as well as keep you informed on how the campaign is progressing and how you can get involved in activities to move forward the Real Impact Manifesto goals.

This sector wide campaign is facilitated and supported by Emerald Publishing.

Is your pledge (please tick):