'Research Impact' : a never ending personal and/or academic quest?

Hardy, Stephen ORCID: 0000-0003-2165-9827 (2015) 'Research Impact' : a never ending personal and/or academic quest? In: TIRI Conference, 7th - 9th July 2015, University of Bolton. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The impact of some research is evident immediately, whereas other research can take years before its real value becomes apparent. To that end, there are no simple predictors of potential benefits or outcomes and no single measure of impact. Yet, REF exercises and funding councils alike demand its endorsement in supporting research which increases our fundamental understanding of the world. Attaining a 'demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy' is no easy feat. A key aspect of the notion of ‘research impact’ is that impact must be demonstrable. It is insufficient just to focus on activities and outputs that promote research impact. Arguably, you must be able to provide evidence that the research has been taken up and used by policymakers, legislators and/or practitioners which has led to improvements in conditions, health, services, business or the economy. Within such a spiralling complexity of demands, this paper seeks clarity in the quest for impact. This paper therefore canvasses the dilemmas faced by researchers in search of impact. Having defined what ‘research impact’ is, an assessment of what REF2020 is likely to require in terms of impact based upon lessons learnt from REF2014 will be given. Navigating through the variant types of impact, a pathway for planning research impact will be presented, whilst musing on the personal and academic rewards involved. Overall, the paper will review what has become of research impact in academia today and will posit a timely reminder to all involved in research that: when published works influence and inform other research, the ‘revealed preference’ approach to understanding academic influence, albeit in recent years has become increasingly sophisticated, remains the very core of ideas and expertise which flows from the individual researcher’s study.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Additional Information: This paper and supporting presentation was the Keynote Speech given at the University of Bolton Annual Staff Conference, The TIRI University on the 7th July 2015, by Professor Hardy the Head of the Law School and Diamond Jubilee Professor of Law.
Divisions: University of Bolton Conferences > Teaching Intensive Research Informed Conference > 2015
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2015 10:45
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 11:59
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/736

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