A new way to evaluate research

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada has developed a tool they hope will better measure the quality and impact of research coming out of the global south. They want to ensure that researchers who are working on projects that positively impact their region are evaluated on criteria that make sense. Metrics like citation count and h-index don’t necessarily measure the rigor and usefulness of research.

The IDRC calls this tool Research Quality Plus (RQ+) and it has three parts:

  • Identify contextual factors – political, data, research environment, maturity of the scientific field, and how much the project focuses on capacity strengthening
  • Articulate dimensions of quality – scientific integrity, legitimacy, importance, and positioning for use
  • Use rubrics & evidence – assessments have to be systematic, comparable and based on evidence (both qualitative and quantitative)

You can read more about this tool in Nature or on the IDRC website.