Impact has in the past two REF cycles established itself as an integral criteria of research assessment in the UK. However, the kinds of impacts that are valued and the ways in which the ‘reach’ and ‘significance’ of impact are interpreted by instituti…
We read 70 impact strategies from across the globe – we found only two different strategies.
Reporting on their recent international survey of impact strategies, Mark Reed and Saskia Gent discuss their findings, identify two main types of impact strategy and analyse six key themes that comprise the current sector standard for good impact strat…
Online Impact – Surveying the websites most commonly cited in impact case studies
Reporting on their recent survey of websites cited in REF 2014 impact case studies, Kayvan Kousha, Mike Thelwall and Mahshid Abdoli, discuss which websites are most commonly used as supporting evidence for impact and how these vary across academic disc…
Impact Monoculture – Are all impact case studies the same old story?
The impact of quantitative research measures on academic behaviours have been widely discussed, but the impact of qualitative assessment regimes is more often thought of as benign. Drawing on an analysis of impact case studies submitted to REF 2014, Ju…
The REF’s singular focus on excellence limits academic diversity
Research assessment exercises, such as the REF ostensibly serve to evaluate research, but they also shape and manage it. Based on a study of REF submissions in the fields of economics, history, business and politics, Engelbert Stockhammer, argues that …
Causality and complexity in impact statements: Is it time to rethink a one-size-fits-all approach to writing about impact?
As part of the REF assessment researchers across STEM and SSH disciplines are required to write about the impact of their research in essentially the same format. Drawing on a linguistic analysis of REF Impact statements from 2014, Andrea Bonaccorsi, h…
The Grammar of Impact – What can we learn from REF 2014 about writing impact case studies?
Impact case studies will form an important part of all universities’ eventual submissions to the next round of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Drawing on a linguistic and thematic analysis of 175 impact case studies from REF 2014, Bella Reichard, Mark Reed, Jenn Chubb, Ged Hall, Lucy Jowett, Alisha Peart and Andrea Whittle set out … Continued
2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on research evaluation and impact
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 […]
The A to Z of writing an impact case study
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 the […]
Could it all be much ado about nothing? A tragicomic perspective on research impact
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, and […]