The reform of evaluation proposed at European level in the recent Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment represents a window of opportunity to reform the Spanish evaluation system, at a moment when the new Organic Law of the University System (LOSU) is being debated. This agreement establishes the primacy of peer review based on qualitative criteria in order to be able to recognize the diversity of contributions and research careers, and advocates to stop the inappropriate use of journal-based metrics. How can evaluation in Spain, heavily based on these metrics, be reformed to align with these principles? In this letter we propose that it is not possible to move towards the principles of the European agreement without making structural changes in the governance of evaluation, with a return of autonomy to the universities. We advocate that individual evaluations by agencies outside the university should be limited, and that, instead, institutional evaluation should be encouraged. We collect a proposal for ‘institutional accreditation’ as a public control mechanism for the hiring and promotion of professors at the university.
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