In our view, we need to move from a single system for assessing research performance (see J. Tregoning Nature 558, 345; 2018) to a prospective model implemented at the start of a research initiative. This would engage stakeholders in defining metrics for the project’s mission and agenda.
An example is the European Commission’s MULTI-ACT project, which is a collective research-impact framework of multivariate models for health research and innovation (see go.nature.com/2mdkqgt). This integrates conventional metrics related to excellence with new measures relating to economic and financial efficiency and to social efficacy.
Although not the “quick fix” Tregoning mentions, such multidimensional measures should help early-career researchers to tie their work more effectively to a meaningful research agenda.
Nature 559, 331 (2018)