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Research Assessment and Impact

This guide provides information about crafting impact statements and using metrics or other evidence to showcase research performance.

Foundations of an impact narrative

Impact categories

The purpose of a research impact narrative or statement is to showcase a researcher's positive contribution "to the economy, society, environment or culture" (Australian Research Council). Broad impact categories include:

  • economic or industrial
  • technological
  • environmental
  • government policy 
  • national security
  • health and wellbeing 
  • cultural or societal
  • understanding or awareness 
  • attitudes or beliefs
  • capacity building or preparedness.

First steps

  • Build your network:
    • develop and maintain a professional online presence (e.g., JCU Research Portfolio, ORCID, LinkedIn, ResearchGate)
    • meet, share and collaborate with colleagues (e.g., projects, conferences, working parties, expert panels)
  • Maximise your reach and discoverability
  • Track and collect evidence:
    • Develop a system to document your activities, research outputs, acknowledgement, awards, nominations, special mentions, etc.
    • Track public events (e.g., the aim, who attended, evaluation, outcomes)
    • Harvest metrics related to your scholarly publishing and online presence (e.g., ResearchOnline@JCU, SciVal, Google Scholar, Altmetrics).

Crafting an impact story

A good impact narrative will provide context for your evidence and go beyond numbers. Use the information below to find out more and generate ideas for your impact narratives.

Check out the University of Western Australia Research Impact Toolkit:

Watch Yale University Library's Telling Impact Stories video [8:22]:

  • This video showcases the Becker Model which provides a comprehensive checklist of indicators for gauging research impact.
  • While it has a biomedical focus, it offers excellent guidance (and can be adapted) for developing an impact story in most disciplines.

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