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Lightning talk

Reforming Research Assessment in Spain: the point of view of Quality Assurance Agencies

  • 26 September 2023 |
  • 16:00 |
  • Session 1 |
  • Main Auditorium

Spanish quality assurance agencies, both state-owned (Aneca and AEI, State Research Agency, which evaluates research projects) and regional (AQU, ACSUCyL, DEVA, etc.) have made some progress on modifying the current model for research assessment, which is mainly based on the journal impact factor (JIF). These are timid advances that are evidenced by the adherence to international declarations, especially DORA, and to the COARA coalition.


The general objective of the study is to understand the perception of the directors of Spanish quality assurance agencies regarding the introduction of new indicators for research assessment.


An online survey was conducted divided into five blocks of questions with responses recorded on a five-point Likert scale to understand the agencies' opinions regarding:

- New indicators to evaluate scholarly publications

- The implementation of new indicators and research assessment models.

- The barriers that hinder the introduction of new indicators and research assessment models

- The elements that favour the introduction of new indicators and research assessment models

- Who should drive the change in the model and the actions taken so far

The questionnaire was sent to the leaders of the 14 Spanish agencies identified, both state-owned and regional.


The agency's leaders highlight qualitative evaluations and downloads as alternative or complementary indicators to the current model. They do not give excessive importance to the impact factor, citations of articles, or altmetrics. The main barrier to maintaining the current model would be the immobility of the administration since the agency's leaders consider that both evaluators and researchers would not have such an opposing position. The change in the evaluation model should be driven, first, by the ministries of universities and science and then by the university's rector teams. The agency's leaders see themselves as the third level of responsibility in this matter.


Ernest Abadal

I'm Professor of the Faculty of Information and Audiovisual Media, University of Barcelona. I have degrees in Philosophy and also in Library and Information Science. My PhD is in Information Science (Journalism). I've been coordinator of several projects of the Spanish Research Plan on open access to science in Spain, and coordinator of the research network Red Temática sobre Datos de Investigación (MAREDATA). Currently I'm the principal investigator of a project about Open Science in Spain and also coordinator of the Consolidated Research Group Culture and Digital Contents. My research line is currently focused in open access and open science and also in information technology for information services. I've written several books and articles on these issues I'm member of editorial board of "BiD: textos universitaris de biblioteconomia i documentació", "Profesional de la información", "AIB Studi", "" and reviewer of several scientific journals. Currently, I'm Vice-Rector assigned to the Rector and for Teaching and Research Staff of the University of Barcelona. Previously, I was Dean of the Faculty of Library and Information Science (currently Faculty of Information and Audiovisual Media), director of the Centre of Research in Information, Communication and Culture (CRICC), Head of studies of the Diploma in Library and Information Science, Head of the Department of Library and Information Science and coordinator of the Ph.D program. I was responsible for Documentation and Information Systems in the University of Barcelona and vice-president of the Consortium of Academic Libraries of Catalonia (CBUC). I've collaborated with evaluation agencies of Catalonia (AQU, AGAUR), Spain (AEI, ANEP, ANECA, ACSUCYL), Italy (ANVUR) and Greece (HQA).

Candela Ollé-Castellà

Aggregate professor in the Studies of Information and Communication Sciences at Open University of Catalonia (UOC) since 2010. Associate Professor of the University of Barcelona (UB) academic years 2010-13 and doctoral fellow 2006-2010 in the Faculty of Library and Information Science of the UB. Codirector of the academic journal BiD: textos universitaris en biblioteconomia i documentació, since June 2013. Member of the research consolidated group by the Generalitat de Catalunya "Cultura i continguts digitals" since 2018. From 2006 until 2018 member of i-VIU Metric Studies Group, also at UB.

Remedios Melero

Remedios Melero holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Valencia, and works as researcher at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology of the CSIC (Spanish National Research Country). She is a member of the scientific committees of Redalyc and Scielo España. Associate editor of DOAJ and coordinator of the Commission on Intellectual Property of Amelica. She is a member  of the Open Access to Science Spanish research group. She has participated since 2005 in national projects related to open science in Spain, and  three  European projects: NECOBELAC: (2009-2012). FOSTER (2014-216) and FOSTER Plus, all  of them directly related to all aspects that affect open science and how to contribute to its implementation through training and promotion of open knowledge. Their research topics are open access to publications, open access policies, institutional repositories, author rights and copyright, and research data management.

Alexandre López-Borrull