Measuring Research, Making a Difference
Beyond Impact is an Open Society Foundations funded project that aims to facilitate a conversation between researchers, their funders, and developers about what we mean by the “impact” of research and how we can make its measurement more reliable, more useful, and more accepted by the research community. The project ran a workshop that included funders, research institutions, researchers, data-holders, publishers and developers. We aim to identify specific use-cases and then build prototype demonstrators to address them over the course of the three day workshop.
Three key trends are converging to make this conversation timely. Research funders and government are focussing more and more on how the outputs of research are being applied beyond the research community. At the same time the Open Research agenda with its focus on enabling and supporting the wider re-use of research outputs is gaining momentum on a range of fronts. Researchers in turn are exploring new approaches of research communication with the aim of increasing the efficiency of communication and the ability for these outputs to reach beyond the research community, yet frequently these non-traditional outputs are seen as “not counting” even when they may have greater impact.
These three trends are linked by the need to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the communication of research outputs, the need to measure the use and re-use of those outputs to demonstrate research impact, and the need to encourage researchers and institutions to configure their research to maximise the effective communication and exploitation of research outputs. Beyond Impact seeks to explicitly link these strands together and bring key players together to explore the challenges and opportunities presented. You can read more at the original project proposal and the first workshop report.