Altmetrics have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of scholarly communication, although the value they indicate is contested. In this post, Lutz Bornmann and Robin Haunschild present evidence from their recent study examining the relationship of peer review, altmetrics, and bibliometric analyses with societal and academic impact. Drawing on evidence from REF2014 submissions, they argue altmetrics may provide evidence for […]
What do you do with research that produces potentially harmful results? In this post Andrew Crane, explores how research can produce negative as well as positive impacts on society and discusses how his own research group has approached dealing with the complex issue of ‘negative impact’.
“If you put these things in your report it will kill our industry”. The […]
Some PhD students and early career academics feel that the demands placed on them are so intense that they can never devote time to ‘secondary’ activities. Research comes first and last, and the doctorate ‘grind’ is something that has to be ‘got out of the way’ before they can focus on anything else. In contrast, Hayley Teasdale argues that […]
Third mission accomplished? Why are universities bad at engaging with local and regional government and what we can do about it.
Universities are increasingly called upon to engage with local and regional government, namely as part of a ‘third academic mission’, but how effectively do they incentivize academics to do so? Using evidence from her study of the University of Aveiro, Liliana Fonseca explores the barriers that hinder engagement with these institutions and makes recommendations for how universities could expand […]
A vital part of any research assessment program is the ability to clearly demonstrate the impacts, whatever they may, of the research undertaken. In this post, Katy McEwan presents the impact chain approach for writing impact case studies. A method, which provides a framework for producing impact narratives and helps authors clearly describe and spotlight the consequences, intended and […]
Ahead of the Game – How impact is an additional hurdle for scholars from widening countries to receiving EU funding.
The next round of the EU’s research and innovation funding program, Horizon Europe, will include a requirement to develop a mission statement outlining how the research will achieve societal impact. In this post Stefan de Jong and Reetta Muhonen explore how regional variations across Europe in the understanding of research impact are likely to impact the opportunities of researchers […]
Citizens of Somewhere: What is the effect of the international profile of UK academia on national and international pathways to impact?
In this post Cornelia Lawson, Ammon Salter, Alan Hughes, and Michael Kitson explore how international academics working in the UK higher education system contribute to impacts made inside and outside of the UK. Drawing on a survey of 18,000 academics, they note that whilst international academics contribute more to impacts outside of the UK than their UK counterparts, they […]
Invisible impact and insecure academics: structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway
Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a form of research that involves prolonged and deep engagement with local communities and can produce profound social impacts. In this post, Dr Katrina Raynor describes how current approaches to impact assessment and the structure of the academic labour market impede researchers from engaging with PAR and raise particular challenges for insecurely employed early […]
Alex Rushforth and Adam Kamenetzky report on the international symposium, ‘In the Trenches: Research Translation for Health Impact’, outlining how the concept of research impact has developed in health research, they highlight three key areas of interest; complexity, community and continuity and suggest that to advance, health impact research needs to adopt a more reflexive critical approach to value.
Mark Reed presents 6 key points from the REF2021 guidelines and outlines how they change the current working understanding of impact in the UK.
The final guidance for REF2021 was released this week. Most of the guidance on impact is consistent with what I expected from the consultation. For the full guidance on the submission of impact case studies to […]
Drawing on case study evidence from the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme, Louise Shaxson suggests that developing a culture of engagement and collaboration is just as important to achieving research impact as following best practice, and presents five principles that underpin an effective research impact culture.
There’s no better way to occupy yourself over lunch at your desk on a rainy day […]
How to design an award-winning conference poster
A good academic conference poster serves a dual purpose: it is both an effective networking tool and a means by which to articulately communicate your research. But many academics fail to produce a truly visually arresting conference poster and so opportunities to garner interest and make connections are lost. Tullio Rossi offers guidance on how to […]
The concept of research impact pervades contemporary academic discourse – but what does it actually mean?
Research impact is often talked about, but how clear is it what this term really means? Kristel Alla, Wayne Hall, Harvey Whiteford, Brian Head and Carla Meurk find that academic literature discusses research impact but often without properly defining it, with academic discourses mostly drawing on bureaucratic definitions originating from the […]
A Tale of Two Agendas – or why we need to think differently about impact of research in international development
In addition to the established impact agenda, those doing research for development now also have to contend with the ODA research agenda, primarily aimed at generating impact in developing countries. But as Valeria Izzi observes, while there are clear similarities between the two, so far remarkably little reflection has gone into how they fit together and interplay. There is […]
With submission to REF 2021 now less than two years away, university staff and academics are stepping up work to present their best examples of research impact in the form of compelling impact case studies. In thinking about how to approach writing these documents, Sally Brown has compiled this useful A to Z; from understanding your impact aim, all […]
Greater than the sum of its parts: why the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs should adopt a programme approach to research design and management
Awards for the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs will soon be announced. Each of these Hubs will inevitably have to balance the different imperatives of research excellence, development impact, and collaborative processes. To improve their chances of being successful in doing so, Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray suggest that each Hub must set out with the explicit intention of being […]
The contemporary drive to understand exactly how academic research has had an impact on society represents a major undertaking, with significant resources being expended. However, researchers acknowledge there may be occasions where no amount of time, effort, or funds will identify the impact arising from certain research. Given the considerable effort that has been dedicated to research assessment processes, […]
Developing approaches to research impact assessment and evaluation: lessons from a Canadian health research funder
Assessing research impact is complex and challenging, but essential for understanding the link between research funding investments and outcomes both within and beyond academia. Julia Langton provides an overview of how a Canadian health research funder approaches impact assessment; urging caution in the use of quantitative data, highlighting the importance of organisation-wide capacity-building, and outlining the value of a […]
Can we have it all? Navigating trade-offs between research excellence, development impact, and collaborative research processes
The “gold standard” of impactful international development research involves equitable north-south partnership, interdisciplinary collaboration, and co-production with non-academic actors, ideally including local communities. Such participatory and collaborative approaches are intended to have longer-term benefits, strengthening capacity for research, innovation, and knowledge exchange. Admirable though this may sound, it’s easy to see how it might appear overwhelming to researchers expected […]