Brace for Impact! DORA Initiative Argues the Usage of the Journal Impact Factor

By Katelyn Hoover on Mar 2, 2020

Determining the credibility of academic publishing venues comes with various challenges, one of which is the assigning and interpretation of research evaluation. Specifically, evaluations such as the Journal Impact Factors have been criticized for inaccurately rating the value of research in various fields of study. One of the major concerns posited by researchers is that hiring committees and funding bodies have been purported to be influences in their decision making by these highly criticized metrics. Also, the Journal Impact Factor does not cater to newer journals (established for less than two years) or journals on niche up-and-coming subject matter, and as such they disregard an entire branch of critical resources.

Journal Impact Factors are meant to serve as a broad indicator of a specific journal’s output and are not meant to be used as a quality indicator of individual papers and authors. However, this is not the most common use of the Journal Impact Factors. Many mistakenly evaluate papers by the Impact Factor of the journal that they appear in (Callaway, 2016).

Due to these misinterpretations, many researchers have begun to question the validity of evaluative measures like the Journal Impact Factor. Some publishers and universities have even taken this skepticism a step further by removing the Journal Impact Factor from their journals and websites completely.

One initiative, developed by the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco, hopes to evaluate and improve the evaluative strategies used for providing information on the quality of academic research output. The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) aims to influence change in the academic community that will encourage the use of tools and strategies that more accurately reflect the quality and reach of various research (DORA Roadmap: A two-year strategic plan for advancing global research assessment reform at the institutional, national, and funder level, 2018).

The goal of the DORA initiative, and other similar movements, is to provide a more accurate metric that serves to evaluate the merits of individual research papers rather than evaluating them based on the overall quality and reach of the publication that they appear in. In this way, signers and proponents of these movements hope to more accurately reflect the efforts of individual researchers and the quality of individual articles and research outputs.

Metrics that intend to make sweeping statements about large sections of research should be regarded with caution. While they can indicate the overall quality or output of a single large publication, they do not serve as accurate indicators of the quality or output of smaller publications. Current metrics that are applied widely to larger publications should be regarded with caution when researchers are attempting to evaluate the quality of individual research articles or individual researchers.

Individuals, institutions, organizations, and publishers may all sign the DORA initiative. If you would like to sign, you can do so through the Sign the Declaration page.

IGI Global works to maximize the discoverability of each and every chapter and article published, regardless of how niche its topic is or how small the intended audience may be. If you would like to publish your work with a publisher that believes the quality and merit of research should be based on the individual research itself, please see IGI Global's Publications Seeking Submissions page.


(n.d.). Retrieved from DORA- San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) :

Callaway, E. (2016, July 08). Beat it, impact factor! Publishing elite turns against controversial metric. Nature.

DORA Roadmap: A two-year strategic plan for advancing global research assessment reform at the institutional, national, and funder level. (2018, June 27). Retrieved from Dora- San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA):

Featured Publications Covering Scholarly Publishing and Library Science

Learn More
Recommend to Library
Handbook of Research on Digital Devices for Inclusivity and Engagement in Libraries
Prof. David Chitakunye (London School of Commerce, UK) and Prof. Amandeep Takhar (University of Northampton, UK) Adeyinka Tella (University of Ilorin, Nigeria)

Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 491 | ISBN: 9781522590347| EISBN: 9781522590361

This scholarly publication is a critical scholarly resource that explores interactive technologies and their applications and implementations in library settings as well as their role in transforming libraries. Featuring a range of topics such as artificial intelligence, library technologies, and social media, this book is ideal for librarians, IT technicians, academicians, researchers, and students.

Learn More
Recommend to Library
Handbook of Research on Connecting Research Methods for Information Science Research
Patrick Ngulube (University of South Africa, South Africa)

Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 639 | ISBN: 9781799814719 | EISBN: 9781799814726

This scholarly publication is a collection of innovative research on the methods and application of study methods within library and information science. While highlighting topics including data management, philosophical foundations, and quantitative methodology, this book is ideally designed for librarians, information science professionals, policymakers, advanced-level students, researchers, and academicians seeking current research on transformative methods of research within information science.

Learn More
Recommend to Library
Advancing Educational Research With Emerging Technology
Eugene Kennedy (Louisiana State University, USA) and Yufeng Qian (Louisiana State University, USA)

Copyright: © 2020 | Pages: 315 | ISBN: 9781799811732| EISBN: 9781799811756

This scholarly publication provides innovative insights into cutting-edge and long-standing digital tools in educational research and addresses theoretical, methodological, and ethical dimensions in doing research in the digital world. The content within this publication examines such topics as computational linguistics, individualized learning, and mobile technologies. The design of this publication is suited for students, professors, higher education faculty, deans, academicians, researchers, and practitioners looking to expand their research through the use of a broad range of digital tools and resources.

About IGI Global: Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is commitment to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically-advanced publishing processes. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

Newsroom Contact:
Newsroom Contact
Caroline Campbell
Marketing Manager
(717) 533-8845, ext. 144

Browse for more posts in:
NewsletterResources for ResearchersAcquisitions

No comments Comments

Log in or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment!