Impact is the changes we can see (demonstrate, measure, capture), beyond academia (in society, economy, environment) which happen because of our research (caused by, contributed to, attributable to). Impact may look and operate slightly differently across disciplines, and for fundamental versus applied research, but ultimately is about connecting academic research to changes in the real world.
The arena of impact is a minefield of terminology, with different countries, organisations, and funders adopting general or very specific vocabulary (e.g. knowledge mobilization, knowledge exchange, research uptake, valorization, etc.). Whatever the word or concept it is used, it is important to distinguish between what is the process (or the pathway to impact) and the intended or unintended effects (impact). For example, science communication or dissemination is not research impact but is a process which might contribute to the impact.
Whichever terminology or framework you use as reference, remember that impact may be big or small, local or global, instrumental (direct change) or conceptual (ideas, feelings), quantitative (products, jobs, revenues) or qualitative, positive or negative. There is no single type or area of impact nor a single type of impact pathway.
What do we mean by “impact”? Research to Action-The Global Guide to Research ImpactGo to web
Defining impact. UK Research and InnovationGo to web
What is Research Impact? (ENLIGHT. University of Galway)Go to web
Valorisation: researchers already do much more than they realise. Rathenau InstituutGo to web
What types of impact are there? Fast Track ImpactGo to web
Understand the outcomes and impacts that matter. Matter of FocusGo to web
The Co-produce Pathway to Impact. David Phipps, Joanne Cummings, Debra Pepler, Wendy Craig, and Shelley Cardinal. Journal of Community Engagement Scholarship.Go to web
Maximising the impacts of your research: a handbook for social scientists. LSE Public Policy Group.Download
What Is the Meaning of Impact in Relation to Research and Why Does It Matter? A View from Inside Academia. Colin Chandler. Achieving Impact in Research.Go to web
Research impact. A guide to creating, capturing and evaluating the impact of your research. Taylor & Francis Group.Download
Research impact: a narrative review. Trisha Greenhalgh, James Raftery, Steve Hanney, Matthew Glover. BMC Medicine.Go to web
Conceptualizing the elements of research impact: towards semantic standards. Brian Belcher, Janet Halliwell. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications.Go to web