Responsible metrics refers to the appropriate and responsible use of citation-based metrics, altmetrics and other quantitative measures in the assessment and evaluation of research.
In practice, a responsible metrics approach means that you understand the limitations of any metrics you use and that you use them for appropriate purposes only.
The responsible approach to using quantitative metrics in the evaluation of research was first outlined in the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in 2012. DORA is a set of recommendations for funding agencies, institutions, publishers, researchers and other stakeholders, to improve practices in research assessment.
Responsible metrics was expanded upon by the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics, and in the independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management, called The Metric Tide both from 2015.
SHU signed DORA in 2019, and we also issued guidance on the responsible use of metrics in research assessment.
|The SHU guide to responsible metrics.|
|For SHU researchers, there is multimedia learning module on the responsible use of research metrics in the Researcher CPD online courses in Blackboard|
|The Metrics toolkit. This is a great source of information about using metrics responsibly, including the limitations and use cases for individual indicators.|
|You may find the video version of The Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics from Diana Hicks, et al. useful. It describes 10 principles to guide the use of metrics in research evaluation and is a video version of the Nature paper: Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L., de Rijke, S. & Rafols I. (2015). The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics: use these 10 principles to guide research evaluation. Nature, April 23, 520:429-431. https://doi.org/10.1038/520429a|
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a set of recommendations for funding agencies, institutions, publishers, researchers and other stakeholders, to improve practices in research assessment.
Sheffield Hallam University signed DORA on the 7th May 2019.
DORA is about using quantitative indicators (metrics) responsibly. The key recommendation is not to use journal level metrics as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, or an individual academic’s contributions to their field, or for hiring, promotion, and funding decisions. While DORA focuses on eliminating the inappropriate use of journal metrics, it also covers more general issues with the use of metrics.
You can read the declaration including the recommendations on the DORA website.
We also recommend that you read the SHU guide to responsible metrics, which provides the SHU community with a set of principles outlining good practice in research assessment and the use of quantitative indicators.
If you have any questions about metrics and research assessment, please contact the Library Research Support Team:
Citation-based metrics (sometimes called bibliometric indicators) are metrics such as citation counts, journal impact factors (JIFs) and the h-index. They are based on citation data from sources such as Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar which track works citing other works.
Altmetrics provide information about attention to research outputs in social media such as Twitter and news sources and also information about captures, shares and number of views and downloads.
|How to track citations to your work|
|Find out about altmetrics - how to see altmetrics related to your work and the publications of others, how to use altmetrics and how to optimise altmetric tracking of your work.|
|Limitations of researcher metrics such as the h-index.|
|Quantitative metrics on SHURA.|
|Quantitative metrics on Elements.|
|Using journal metrics when choosing a journal in which to publish.|