Challenges and opportunities for using Researchfish to support research assessment

November 12, 2015

Researchfish Ltd today (12th November 2015) announce the launch of a new report, Challenges and opportunities for using Researchfish to support research assessment, by the Policy Institute at King’s College London. 


How to measure the impact of research and data transparency are hot topics within the research community.  This report explores current challenges as well as future opportunities for researchfish® and its user community. The study aims to critically appraise researchfish® as a tool for assessing the outputs, outcomes and impact of research, identify the challenges faced by its users and identify future opportunities as an enabler for impact assessment.


“This report has been written based on interviews with key individuals from research funding organisations and higher education institutions (HEIs), a brief review of the available literature and an analysis of the data collected through researchfish®” confirms Dr Saba Hinrichs, from the Policy Institute at King’s.


Following the Research Councils international and harmonised approach to capturing research outputs across all research disciplines using researchfish®, many funders have also adopted researchfish® to collect and evidence their research outcomes.  The service, which has just under £40 billion of awards being tracked, can contribute to four activities that characterise research impact assessment: advocacy for research funding, accountability to the funders of research, analysis to understand what works in research and leads to impact, and the allocation of future research funding.


“Given the large uptake of researchfish® by Research Councils and medical research charities, and its near universal coverage in the UK and, more recently into North America and Scandinavia, it was important to examine how to maximise its impact for funders, researchers and other stakeholders interested in using the information contained in the underlying dataset” explained Mark Connelly, Founder and Managing Director of Researchfish Ltd.


The report found that the researchfish® dataset currently contains over one million reports of outputs, spanning over 7 years of research activity with over 90,000 awards.  This data has never before been available in this format, scale and level of comprehensiveness and enables funders to assess research impact for the lifetime of an award and beyond.  New approaches and capabilities are needed to maximise its use and key opportunities were identified for the research community to take this forward.


Looking forward, Researchfish Ltd are already acting on many of the identified opportunities within the report, including an ongoing commitment to provide support to the interoperability project between RCUK and HEIs, as well as several steps already being taken to ensure high data quality and its integrity.  Researchfish Ltd currently offer an ongoing programme of training workshops with the increased focus on research impact, and also has plans to launch impact reporting writing services in 2016/17.


The full report along with the recommendations is available at




Further Information


Lisa Badcock, Marketing Communications Executive


researchfish® is a research outcomes and impact evaluation system.  More details on researchfish® can be viewed at and our list of current members at As of October 2015, there are more than 100 research institutes and funders using researchfish® across the UK, Scandinavia and North America and including 40 universities.


The Policy Institute at King’s College London, acts as a hub linking insightful research with rapid, relevant policy analysis to stimulate debate, inform and shape policy agendas. Our vision is to enable the translation of academic research into policy and practice by facilitating engagement between academic, business and policy communities around current and future policy needs.


Researchfish: A forward look, November 2015, Saba Hinrichs, Erin Montague & Jonathan Grant, the Policy Institute, King’s College London

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