Category: societal impact

Measuring knowledge exchange – the road to societal impact?

Given the well-known difficulties of measuring the full impact of universities, it may be better to focus instead on knowledge exchange, the process by which the societal impact of scientific knowledge is realised. For Frank Zwetsloot and Anika Duut van Goor, “contract income” – the financial investments made by external parties in contract research, contract education, patents or start-ups in […]

One-way, mutually constitutive, or two autonomous spheres: what is the relationship between research and policy?

Academics are increasingly exhorted to ensure their research has policy “impact”. But is this ambition predicated on an overly simplistic understanding of the policy process? Christina Boswell and Katherine Smith set out four different approaches to theorising the relationship between knowledge and policy and consider what each of these suggests about approaches to incentivising and measuring research impact. Political scientists […]

Scientific birds of a feather flock together: science communication on social media rarely happens across or beyond disciplinary boundaries

The success of academic research in reaching out beyond its own scientific community is a perennial concern, even more so following the rapid adoption of social media and the ability to easily transmit information to potentially millions of people. Consequently, many attempts have been made to capture the broad scientific impact beyond academia using social media data. But is increased […]

How to make altmetrics useful in societal impact assessments: shifting from citation to interaction approaches

The suitability of altmetrics for use in assessments of societal impact has been questioned by certain recent studies. Ismael Ràfols, Nicolas Robinson-García and Thed N. van Leeuwen propose that, rather than mimicking citation-based approaches to scientific impact evaluation, assessments of societal impact should be aimed at learning rather than auditing, and focused on understanding the engagement approaches that lead to […]