Nowadays, there is an increasing need for reformulating the way researchers and institutions pursue research, principally, because society requires more transparency and easiness to understand, observe and recognize the process through which new knowledge is created. According to the experience of Dutch universities, academia must change the rewarding mechanisms to promote diversification of different talents that may connect universities and research institutions with society. Thus, the new mechanisms must prioritize the work by teams over stand-alone research to achieve quality outcomes instead of quantity.
The secret of the Dutch approach lives on an ambitious agenda that places concerns on work pressures and career paths. The structure works on different boards distributed on education, research, impact, and leadership, principally, the latter has more importance as all the visions of remaining boards must pass through its supervision.
Recently surveys on universities deliver an autonomous perception in the way they implement research assessment; however, they exhibit commonality in the valuation of assessment factors. For instance, most universities consider the same publication matrix and journal impact factor (h-index) to assess their academic units. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that there is a lack of autonomy because despite there are no formal rules to condition their behavior, universities pursue the same standards, reducing their independence.
Additionally, even though the effort of European authorities to define priorities around the need for having open labor markets, and the reduction of mobility barriers, there is still a considerable gap for filling those needs and much work to do to ensure attractive research careers. Principally, because some academic units feel afraid of giving the first step given that there is a latent threat to destroy research by some researchers and institutions willing to copy and appropriate other ideas without citing and recognizing the intellectual work of others.
Then, we should have research environments supported through open software, methodologies, access to publications, and collaboration. However, before arriving at this stage, there must be a commonality around the scientific community for promoting ethical behavior and penalize those persons and institutions for destroying the incentives for having a collaborative environment without barriers for open science.
I consider that it is essential and valuable to recognize other aspects inside academic units beyond publications and impact factors on those papers. For example, it is very plausible to recognize those departments transmitting knowledge through clear and transparent communicative channels with students and society. We should recognize those environments with clear and continuous communication with the society in general and not only with other academicians principally because those institutions are the ones creating value in the way society perceives and values research.
On the other hand, I also believe that inside the promotion of open science, it is mandatory to create and promote ethical environments with efficacy rules at the moment to deliver incentives on researchers to open their research to the world. For instance, excluding researchers and institutions with the willingness to create environments of low trust. I believe that environments with ethical behaviors and clear rules are more likely to achieve an open and successful research environment. Then, If the environment is fair and clear, promoting open behavior, more and more people and institutions will adapt their communication channels with the world.
Therefore, it is necessary to have an adequate mechanism of incentives for assessing the research careers and what is considered as successful. Firs, making people feel safe for sharing their knowledge. Second, promoting open access to publications and delivering compensations, not necessarily condition on the impact index factor. Third, expanding the compensation on the academic stuff that is not focused on doing only research. Forth, creating independent platforms with adequate per review mechanism for publishing some research that does not satisfy fashionable research trends and standards of what a small amount of researchers considers as relevant.