Research evaluation and responsible research metrics

Find out what the University is doing to improve research assessment practice through the responsible use of research metrics, and view links to good practice resources for researchers.

Signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

Responsible use of research metrics

Responsible use of research metrics is about setting out how we use numerical measures and analysis appropriately and fairly alongside more qualitative information to recognise and support high quality research.

Why is it important?

Relying solely on single measures such as grant income, journal impact factor or h-index to make decisions about individuals puts research at risk. A discipline-appropriate ‘basket of measures’ alongside more qualitative evidence provides a more  balanced consideration of research than any single measure, and recognises the many ways research can be considered successful, as well as minimising biases and preconceptions. 

What are we doing to improve research assessment practice?




We are a signatory of DORA

The University of Edinburgh signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in Spring 2019. DORA provides a roadmap for global reform in research assessment that universities, funding bodies and individual researchers can sign up to. As a signatory, the University supports DORA’s vision to ‘advance practical and robust approaches to research assessment globally and across all scholarly disciplines'.

View the San Franscisco Declaration on Research Assessment

Ethical use of data in research assessment

Read the University of Edinburgh's Statement on the Responsible Use of Research Metrics

Research metrics working group

The Research Metrics Working Group was set up in 2019 for an initial term of two years. It reports to the University's Research Policy Group and is chaired by Professor Andrew Millar. The Group has a remit which includes oversight of the University’s policy and action plan on ‘Responsible Research Metrics’ ,  and facilitating where possible continuous improvement in research assessment practice. It also advises on new and innovative potential uses of research information to support excellence in research.

View Research Metrics Working Group Terms of Reference, Agenda and Minutes (University staff only)

Training materials and good practice resources

The working group is developing a formal action plan and  resources  for colleagues across the University on the responsible use of metrics in research assessment.

Responsible use of research metrics training and resources (University staff only)

Research Culture Virtual Suggestions Box

As part of our wider efforts to support a vibrant research culture, we would like to hear about examples of good or innovative practice in research assessment practice that could be  rolled out more widely, and likewise any areas that need improvement.  Please use our  virtual 'suggestions box' to help us.

Submit a suggestion to our Research Culture Virtual Suggestions Box (University staff only)



For further information, please get in touch directly with Edinburgh Research Office.