The Initiative for Responsible Scientific Assessment (IRSA):

The scientific community is by nature creative. As such, it is time for this group of creative persons to search, as a community, for new solutions and new directions when appraising Science. The pioneering DORA-Leiden-Tide documents requesting changes in scientific output evaluation need to be expanded upon to guarantee the full potential of Science´s undeniable ability to promote development ( These expansions involve modifications in both how scientists divulge and promote their findings and, centrally, how scientific output and projects are analyzed. Most of all, this requires a change of attitude by researchers for the benefit of scientific endeavor. Therefore, we propose an Initiative for Responsible Scientific Assessment (IRSA), that combines and expands upon previous initiatives, with the following guidelines:

1) Endorse and spread DORA, the Leiden Manifesto and The Metric Tide. Stimulate quality assessment over quantifiable metrics. Discuss these ideals within your academic community.  

2) Elevate and value quality peer review. Provide the best assessment possible when acting as a reviewer. Make reviewer suggestions mindfully, prioritizing critical specialists. Denounce questionable peer-review practices. Develop and support policies to reward and qualify peer-review.  

3) Recognize seminal findings by researchers. Cite primary literature and recognize scientists that made original discoveries. Value central scientific discoveries in funding and hiring decisions.  

4) Promote actions to associate quality assessment with more representative scientometric metrics in academic decisions. Assess the work done and scientific findings above impact factors. Discuss flaws in evaluation processes metrics, as well as new ways to qualify Science. Give preference to metrics that focus on the work produced by the individual, not journal metrics.  

 5) Submit manuscripts to journals with editors who are active scientists and with recognized reputation in the field. Choose journals considering their track record and the qualifications of academic editors and the editorial board, which will ensure quality peer review. Do not support predatory or open access journals that prioritize profits over knowledge. Consider which entities the funds from page charges benefit and give preference to scientific societies over unassociated editors. Debate fair open access costs. Stimulate affordable open access by using pre-print depository platforms.

Marcus F. Oliveira, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro    Contact the author of the petition

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