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Research impact guide: Measure impact

Measuring your impact

There are a variety of ways to measure your impact, including scholarly citation-focused measures such as:

Other kinds of impact measures include:

Factors to consider when deciding how to measure your impact:

  • identify why you are measuring your impact as this will help you determine if there is any specific types of data required or excluded
  • understand the publishing and impact norms within your discipline so you can interpret your impact data and tell the impact story of your research in context

Understanding disciplinary norms

Most research will be best represented using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches to measure impact, although this can differ vastly by field.

Contact your Faculty Outreach Librarian if you require support with identifying the norms that are most relevant to your research.

The following broad overviews set out the norms of the disciplines:

Medicine and Life Sciences

  • Feature wider collaboration and a more rapid rate of publications
  • Publish frequently in journals but also produce conference papers, books and book chapters and reports, generating a vast quantity of literature that cites within itself
  • Impact in these areas tends to be more quantitative and metric focussed, often measured in relation to the number of citations the research generates

Engineering and Applied Sciences

  • Feature a moderate amount of collaboration and a moderate rate of publication
  • Publish a significant number of conference papers as well as journal articles, books and book chapters and technical reports
  • Impact in these areas tends to be more quantitative and metric focussed, often measured in relation to the number of citations the research generates
  • These fields are not as well indexed in the major citation databases so it can be harder to track the impact of all the work
  • It may also be relevant for this group to track any influence their research may have had in industry

Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences

  • Follow a slower publication pattern
  • Researchers are more likely to be working in smaller numbers, often publishing on their own
  • Types of  research outputs are more diverse including traditional publications such as journal articles, books, book chapters and conference papers but may also include other forms such as reports, legal rulings, and creative works or exhibitions
  • Impact measurement for these areas can be more difficult to trace and is often more focussed on the qualitative elements of who the research is reaching
  • Contextual references to the research are significant as citations are generally not as numerous in these disciplines

 

Measuring your impact is about identifying evidence that your work is influencing either other scholars or the wider world.

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