VA welcomes move towards European metrics for science-society interaction

In response to a call for evidence from the European Commission on creating new metrics and evaluation for open science, VA (Public & Science) foresees a more accountable and transparent research system in Europe and recognises the potential of altmetrics for measuring science-society interaction.

Photo taken at VA’s Annual Conference in 2015. Johannes Vogel, Professor i Biodiversity and Public Science, Humboldt University, Berlin & chair of ECSA, European Citizen Science Organisation talking about Open Science. Photo: Mika Nitz Pettersson, VA

Researchers are under growing pressure to measure and demonstrate the value that they contribute to society. In its response, VA says that next-generation altmetrics (which includes both non-traditional metrics and qualitative data) offers a promising method for evaluating public engagement and outreach, as well as identifying scientific work that has high public impact.

However, VA believes that there are a number of prerequisites in order for altmetrics to become widely accepted and used within academia. This includes ensuring the participation of the research community in the development of altmetrics as well as developing tools and metrics that create fair and reliable data.

VA stresses that universities also need clear incentives and reward systems that promote dialogue between research and society and that there is a clear shift towards measuring and promoting research impact in Sweden. It also recognises that, for Sweden, the EU is the obvious body to co-ordinate and take a global lead in this development.

The EC call on Next-generation altmetrics invited stakeholders across Europe to share insights and evidence to inform the work of its Open Science Policy Platform and a new expert group whose role is to advise on the role of metrics and altmetrics in the development of its agenda for open science and research.

Read VA’s full response to the call for evidence. The EC’s expert group on altmetrics will be publishing its findings and recommendations towards the end of 2016.

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