The San Francisco Declaration
Developed on the initiative of researchers from the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and publishers of scholarly journals, the San Francisco Declaration sets out 18 recommendations for research organisations, funding agencies, publishers and researchers to improve the way the quality of scientific output is assessed. For example, it recommends avoiding the use of indicators based on journals (such as the Impact Factor) as a proxy for the quality of research articles in assessing individual researchers, taking the scientific content of articles into account when evaluating the productivity of project coordinators and considering the value of all scientific output (data, software, patents etc.) in all assessment approaches. It also encourages the exploration of new qualitative indicators to describe the impact of research work.
Towards a considered, reasonable use of indicators at ANR
ANR, which signed DORA on 7 September 2018, encourages consideration for the quality and importance of all research output, not only articles – which remain a central aspect – but also data sets, prototypes, software, patents, recommendations for practice, mediation actions etc.
In the context of its project selection activities, an awareness and training programme for chairpersons of the 2019 Generic Call for Proposals (AAPG) committees has been introduced to apply these recommendations.
ANR draws on the general principles of the San Francisco Declaration to establish the impact analysis for the projects it funds, and on the Leiden Manifesto for the correct use of quantitative indicators.
More broadly, ANR's support for the principles of the San Francisco Declaration is part of its commitment to promoting integrity in research culture and open research data.
An indicator of a journal's reputation, the impact factor is the average number of citations of the journal's articles relative to the number of articles published in the journal. It is calculated over a two-year publication period using the Web of Science (WoS) bibliographic database, which indexes over 12,000 scientific journals. The impact factor of a journal in year N is published in the middle of year N+1 in the Journal Citation Report (JCR).