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Research Commons

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Tracking and Enhancing your Research Impact (workshop)

What about Broader Impacts?


As mentioned in the introduction, research impact can be defined in several ways and for this workshop, we have been mainly interested in scholarly impact, traditionally measured by citations.  Broader impact, is defined by the National Science Foundation as "the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes."  Though not the main focus of this workshop, here are some resources that might help you describe your impact beyond citations.


The Becker Model is a "framework for tracking diffusion of research outputs and activities to locate indicators that demonstrate evidence of biomedical research impact."  Though developed for biomedical research, the model offers a structure that can be adapted for other disciplines.  The reference version of the model is a helpful chart organized into sections on advancement of knowledge, clinical implementation, community benefit, legislation and policy, and economic benefit.


The REF Impact Case Studies website is an open database of impact descriptions submitted as part of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, from the United Kingdom.  The case studies can be searched by keyword or browsed by research subject area.  It is helpful to look for case studies on a topic similar to your own to get ideas for how your impact can be described.


Finally, this website from the University of Missouri offers a number of links to resources on developing and evaluating broader impacts plans.



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