Category: research impact

Disambiguating Impact

Outside of specific institutional and organizational settings discussions about ‘impact’ often descend into confusion, as the term holds several meanings for researchers. Responding to a provocation from Ziyad Marar “On Measuring Social Science Impact”…

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…

We live in an age of projects – Research impact should reflect this

In the second of two blogposts exploring how research impact is increasingly dependent on expertise embedded within organisations rather than traditional research outputs, Rebecca Vine and Paul Nightingale discuss the role of projects as a focus for co…

tl;dr – AI and the acceleration of research communication

AI is forecast to become increasingly central to many aspects of life and work. The same trends can also be detected in research. Drawing on a recent study of expert perceptions of AI uses in research and taking the recently launched tl;dr tool as a sa…

Creating high-quality research collaborations across academia and civil society is rare, what does this tell us about how we value impact?

For researchers in Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) publishing and collaborating with academics on mutually beneficial projects is uncommon. Drawing on their experience of a major collaborative international research project on public attitudes towar…

By focusing on outputs, rather than people, we misunderstand the real impact of research.

Arguing that science policy remains shaped by enduring ideas of linear knowledge transfer from research to society, Paul Nightingale and Rebecca Vine, propose that research impact in contemporary service economies lies predominantly within the applicat…

2021 In Review: Measuring and Assessing Research

The second of this year’s annual reviews focuses on research assessment. Looking into the the quantitative and qualitative measures that govern and shape research, impact and the management of higher education institutions, this list brings toget…

Connecting research to policy is complex, unpredictable and time consuming – so should we expect academics to do it on their own?

Earlier in the year the chief executive of UKRI, Dame Ottoline Leyser, argued that a research culture that prizes the figure of the ‘lone genius’ has stifled productive collaboration. Drawing on the experience of UCL’s Faculty of Engineering Sciences P…

What role should non-academics have in evaluating the potential impact of new research projects?

Non-academics with extensive experience of particular sectors and industries can provide unique insights into the potential pathways to impact for new research projects. Drawing on a quasi-natural experiment comparing assessment panels with and without…

How models change the world – and what we should do about it

Models that make predictions about the COVID-19 pandemic are complicated by the fact that people change their behaviour in response to these predictions. Lucie White discusses how we can deal with this, based on a recent paper with Philippe van Basshuy…