Public Affairs

Biophysical Society Endorses DORA

The Biophysical Society and Biophysical Journal have added their names to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), an international declaration calling on the world scientific community to eliminate the role of the journal impact factor in evaluating research for funding, hiring, promotion, or institutional effectiveness. The Declaration makes the case that hiring and promotions committees and others judging scientists’ work should look at the actual work, and not use journal impact factor as a proxy for quality. The BPS Council is especially concerned about the weight impact factor is given in developing countries. The journal impact factor is defined as the average number of citations received in a year per paper published in the journal during the two preceding years, and was originally developed in the 1950s to assist librarians at universities and medical schools in making acquisition decisions. The DORA statement can be read in its entirety at

Report Calls for Reorganization of US Science

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences released a report calling for the US to reorganize how science is conducted and funded in the country in order to maintain its leadership in this area. Specifically, the report calls on the US to break down barriers between disciplines and focus on “grand societal challenges.” The report ARISE II: Unleashing America's Research & Innovation Enterprise, also calls for the US to improve the coordination between government, university, and industrial research.

The report was authored by a committee of 30 scientists representing universities and industry, chaired by Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Harvard University, and Keith Yamamoto, University of California, San Francisco.

August 2013 Table of Contents