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Regarding the Signing of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

The University of Tokyo became the first Japanese university to sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) on 1 December 2023.

DORA offers guidance on how research should be evaluated. First introduced at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, it has since become a global initiative. DORA states that, "the scientific content of a paper is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it was published”. It advocates against using journal-based quantitative indicators, such as Journal Impact Factors, as surrogate measures of the quality of individual research articles in decisions regarding hiring, tenure, promotion, or funding. DORA further emphasizes that the value and impact of all research outputs, not just publications, should be considered when assessing research, and recommends incorporating a broad spectrum of impact metrics, including qualitative indicators.

Following thorough deliberation, the University of Tokyo has decided to sign DORA and endorse its philosophy. Furthermore, in accordance with the university charter’s prioritization of diverse research, we have chosen to demonstrate through this signing our dedication to evaluating research content from various perspectives, taking into account the characteristics of each discipline and other comprehensive factors. This commitment is invaluable for nurturing the seeds of research and fostering the free ideas of researchers, echoing the objective of "promoting diverse scholarship", as stated in the University's basic policy, "UTokyo Compass", announced in September 2021.

The proper assessment of research achievements and the encouragement of diverse scholarship are values that transcend any single university and are vital to the entire academic community and society at large. We look forward to further discussions on evaluating research based on its scholarly merit. At the same time, the University of Tokyo pledges to contribute actively to the international dialogue on the sound and diverse advancement of academia, thus fulfilling our mission as "an institution that serves the global public", as stated in the preamble of the University of Tokyo Charter.

8 December, 2023
The University of Tokyo

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