Online from: 2005
Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering
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Article citation: Rebecca Marsh, (2010) "Measuring the impact of research", Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, Vol. 6 Iss: 1, pp. -
Hardly, a day goes by when an article or viewpoint is not brought to our attention that highlights the need to review how research can be more effectively connected to real-world activity and policy setting. This debate has not emerged as a result of the current economic crisis, but it has certainly been brought into sharper focus by it. We are challenged to consider the role of research in contributing to the failures in our financial systems and leadership, or at the very least, in its inability to direct business, economies, and societies away from it. So the question remains, do we batten down the hatches and hope this particular squall passes over head so that we can return to the processes and systems that we know, or should we use this as an opportunity to find a better solution to an age-old, and unfortunately, increasing problem of disconnection between the world of research and scholarship and the world of practice and policy formation?
Emerald, alongside other scholarly publishers, is an intermediary or “translator,” capturing, evaluating, organising, and disseminating research output. The scholarly publishing process has been established for centuries and has successfully managed the process of highlighting important research to the wider world, and this has, in turn, contributed to the development of business, science, industry, and culture.
Research can be used in a number of different contexts: knowledge (contributing to further research); practice; teaching; public policy; and societal. Research is often part of a continuum and rarely is there a direct cause and effect; changes will be seen over a long period of time rather than immediately.
In order to capture some of the different impacts of research at different points along the continuum, Emerald is planning to focus on developing a framework to highlight all the important ways of evaluating research. We are proposing to explore the following areas:
Emerald has recently opened the debate amongst its journal and book series editors. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and appears to reflect a groundswell of opinion that research impact needs to be measured in a variety of ways in addition to citation. We would very much like to hear your thoughts, too.
Through talking to our communities, we are delighted to announce that we have introduced a separate field in the structured abstract that highlights social implications.
If you would like to make any suggestions for shaping a framework to evaluate impact or if you have any general comments, please do get in touch. Feel free to e-mail me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.orgRebecca Marsh