Talking with many research funders and research organisations about research impact, time and again the conversation inevitably heads towards publications and very often doesn’t move from there.
Traditionally research success has been measured using publications, i.e. getting published in high impact journals and then having that cited elsewhere, which of course adds to the prestige and importance of the paper and therefore research within it. This is perfectly legitimate, and there is a well established methodology around publications, and bibliometrics but sometimes this is not the best (or only) indicator of impact.
For some disciplines such as the arts, humanities and social sciences, a publication is not always the primary output from research. This is sometimes interpreted as putting these disciplines at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding and measuring the impact that these awards generate.
From the outset Researchfish has collected a suite of 16 different output, outcomes and impact types such as engagement activities, influence on policy, intellectual property and so on. It does of course also include publications, and across all our members publications account for less than 50% of recorded outputs.
Researchfish has worked with arts, humanities and social science organisations to try to ensure their needs are met as much as anyone else’s. There is still work to do, and we enjoyed attending the AESIS Boosting Impact of Social Science and Humanities conference in Cardiff in September and listening to your thoughts and requirements there.