The volume and quality of publications and citations have been standard elements in the assessment of research for many years and are usually among the metrics in global university ranking systems.
It now seems that the European research community is preparing to shift away from counting citations as a measure of research quality. This comes in the wake of announcements from China, Russia, and the Netherlands to reduce the significance of citations in measuring the quality of researchers and institutions.
The French Committee on Open Science has prepared the Paris Call on Open Science which was published by the Paris Open Science European Conference.
The Call urges that “research proposals, researchers, research units and research institutions are evaluated on the basis of their intrinsic merits and impact, rather than on the number of publications and where they are published, promoting qualitative judgement provided by peers, supported by a responsible use of quantitative indicators.”
The European Commission is now working towards a new system of research assessment that will emphasise quality, impacts, ethics, collaboration, diversity, and public engagement.
It is likely that the move towards new methods of research assessment will influence international rankings where the use of citations as a proxy for research influence, especially in the Times Higher Education world rankings, has often been subject to severe criticism.