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On August 8th, the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW/ASSH) reported that the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) would no longer require researchers to specify journal impact factors when submitting career funding requests.

The article reports that the SNSF has been re-evaluating the role of impact factors in assessments of scientific careers in favor of more diverse and qualitative criteria, such as those specified in the 2012 DORA declaration.

Indeed, the article cites an August 3rd statement from the SNSF stipulating that “Applicants should no longer indicate impact factors as they will no longer be of importance in the evaluation. Instead, the SNSF will give more weight to the quality of the entire research output. This includes publications as well as other areas such as cooperation with stakeholder groups, science outreach, datasets, software, patents, conference papers and prizes.”

The decision could have an impact on the human and social sciences; a field which does not make as much use of such bibliometric methods as other fields of science, and which often uses books and monographs as forms of publication rather than journal articles.

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