Defining research impact

What do we mean when we talk about research impact?

Core elements and concepts that underpin research impact definitions (Source: LSE Impact Blog).

The concept “research impact” has been widely used in academic literature, but never clearly defined within the modern discourse. Five Queensland-based researchers, Kristel Alla, Wayne Hall, Harvey Whiteford, Brian Head and Carla Meurk, went on the search and proposed a conceptualisation of the term, especially in relevance to the impact of research when translated into policy.


Four core elements of research impacts are proposed as:

  • contribution (the areas of research influence; e.g. economy, policies)
  • avenues of impact (processes by which research could have impact; e.g. effects on knowledge, attitudes)
  • change (synonyms used to describe “effects” or “benefits”)
  • levels of impact (e.g. national, international).

Has this challenged the current bureaucratic definitions of what it really means for a research to have impacts? Read the full article here and share your thoughts. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our blog for a frequent digest and never miss a post again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *