Time to reform the research assessment system

Time to reform the research assessment system

During the Paris Open Science European Conference (4th and 5th February 2022), Mariya Gabriel (the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth) delivered an accurate speech about the future of Open Science in Europe.

According to the Commissioner, the future of Open Science should involve a considerable change in the current research culture (beginning with questioning the assessment of research and researchers’ performance as well as the system of rewards and incentives), the establishment of reliable infrastructures to open science and innovation to citizens (like the European Open Science Cloud), and the development of a new set of skills for researchers.

Among the questions posed by M. Gabriel, the concern about the current situation of young researchers was emphasized: “Are researchers too much dependent on publications not reflecting the wider and deeper “raison d’être” of the scientific mission which include the dissemination of knowledge and mentoring of new generations?”, asked the Commissioner. 

We should avoid putting young generations in a vulnerable position“, claimed M. Gabriel. “If the assessment systems are to be reformed, it has a positive impact on the quality of research and should improve the attractiveness of research careers and accessibility”. The future of research should offer more opportunities for younger researchers to transform their potential into engaging research careers, be it in universities, research organisations, or industry.

Thus, it seems undeniable that changes in research are urgently required, and 2022, the claimed European Year of Youth, should honor its name by putting into practice deep transformations in doctoral education and returning the well-deserved importance to the next generations of researchers.