Internationally, increasing emphasis is being placed on the measurable impact of research. In Australia, factors behind this include:
*Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative from Australian Research Council (ARC)
Source: Rymer, L. (2011). Measuring the impact of research - the context for metric development. In The Group of Eight (Ed.), Go8 Backgounder (Vol. 23). Turner, ACT.
ERA 2018 will include Engagement & Impact Assessment. This will "examine how universities are translating their research into economic, social and other benefits and encourage greater collaboration between universities, industries and other end-users of research". In this context, the ARC uses the following definitions:
Engagement: the interaction between researchers and research end-users (including industry, Government, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations), for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge, technologies and methods, and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
Impact: the contribution that research makes to economy, society and environment, beyond the contribution to academic research.
Any attempt to quantify the impact of research publications has merits and deficiencies. Some of these are discussed, below:
Develop a publication strategy at an early point in your research project - how, when and where will you communicate your research findings?
Find opportunities to share your research via Open Access e.g. submit your publications to an open-access repository (OAR); publish descriptions of your datasets to the University's metadata repository for discoverability.
Before seeking or interpreting research metrics, become familiar with these ten principles proposed for the measurement of research performance: the Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics published as a comment in Nature, v520, 23 April, 2015.