As a world-leading university, Imperial College London seeks to enable our staff to research and teach at the very highest levels within a challenging, supportive and outward-looking environment.

The College is committed to ensuring that our procedures for assessing the achievements of all staff are fair, transparent and robust.

This is an area of College culture that we aim to keep under constant review and one where we are determined to play a leading role.

The Richardson review

The 2015 Richardson review on the Application and Consistency of Approach in the Use of Performance Metrics (pdf) enshrined the principle that profile of activities - including, for example, research, teaching, mentoring and citizenship - should all be recognised in a thoroughly evidence-based way in hiring and promotion decisions at Imperial.

Work to implement this review is ongoing and will mesh with the action plan that is being formulated following the publication in December 2016 of the report on our institutional culture.

The Declaration on Research Assessment

As of January 2017, Imperial is a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

We are committed to ensuring that we will not consider journal-based metrics, such as journal impact factors (JIFs), in assessing the research achievements of staff or candidates for recruitment. Instead, in line with the Richardson review, we are determined to ensure that our procedures are grounded in appropriate evidence and fully contextualised.

Signing DORA means that JIFs will no longer be promoted, directly or indirectly, in the assessment of our staff, or in job adverts and person-specifications. We aim to give clear guidance to candidates for promotion or hiring on our assessment procedures. 

These moves should in no way inhibit the choices made by staff on where to publish their research outputs. They are intended to give staff confidence that their work will be judged for what it is – not where it has been published - alongside their other contributions to College’s educational and societal mission. 

Signing the declaration is also intended to empower staff to challenge any instances of practice that deviate from the goal of ensuring that research assessment practices are as rigorous as possible. 

We recognise that establishing a transparent, evidence-based processes of staff evaluation as part of a culture that aims to be fully inclusive will take time. In late 2017 the recommendations of the College's DORA Working Group (PDF) were adopted by the College. These provide clearer guidance on how signing DORA impacts our recruitment, promotion and funding procedures.

Worldwide, research assessment procedures are continuing to evolve and we look forward to working with all members of the College community to bring best practice to Imperial.

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