Department of Education

Impact & Knowledge Exchange Toolkit

About this resource

The material on this site is intended for doctoral students, early career researchers, and other researchers who want to develop their understanding of Knowledge Exchange (KE) and Impact, as support in learning about KE paths and impact outcomes at different stages of the research process. It also aims to support research trainers and facilitators, as a source of teaching materials and ideas to be used flexibly in any courses they provide on KE and research impact in the social sciences.

This resource is not simply a toolkit for REF submissions or RCUK applications. While both these practical ends are important, the main aim of this site is to support career development in ways that are both respectful of the values of those involved in research and knowledge exchange, and open to innovation and diversity.

What can I find in this resource?

This resource provides:

• Conceptual tools to support understanding of KE and impact
• Practical examples from the social sciences
• Practical tools for teaching and learning (videos, presentations, bibliographies, webography)
• Debate around key challenges in KE and impact
• Opportunities to share your own resources

How is the material organised?

The resource is organised around KE paths and five layers of achieving impact, derived from research by Oancea (2011):

• collaboration with users in the co-construction of research (participation)
• dissemination and achieving visibility of research (visibility)
• application and use (use)
• ensuring benefits to discrete population groups and the wider public (benefits)
• percolation of knowledge through normative and discursive changes beyond specific impacts on policy and practice (diffusion).

For each of these layers, the resource provides video interviews with senior academics about their experiences of knowledge exchange and impact, excerpts from research interviews with academic, management and support staff and with non-academic partners, as well as annotated bibliographies and webographies on the topic. Additionally, you will find examples of successful KE activities and practical suggestions for achieving and evaluating knowledge exchange and impact at individual, institutional, and policy levels.

Who produced this resource?

The resource was developed with support from the Higher Education Innovation Fund, via the Knowledge Exchange in the Social Sciences (KESS) project. KESS aimed to expand understanding of KE and impact in the social sciences,  support the development of capacity for knowledge exchange and impact among social science researchers at all stages in the research process; and add to the digital presence for knowledge exchange and impact across the social sciences in Oxford. The research team included:

Professor Alis Oancea
Emeritus Professor Anne Edwards
Dr Eleni Stamou
Dr Sanja Djerasimovic
Dr Kate Cantrell
Jill Boggs
Jacqueline Gallo

To cite this resource
Oancea, A., Djerasimovic, S. and Stamou, E. (2015) Impact and Knowledge Exchange.
www.education.ox.ac.uk/our-research/impact/kei-toolkit/

KE&I Model

Diagram showing the paths of knowledge exchange and the five layers of achieving impact. Click on a term to discover more.

[kei-diagram]

Examples of Practice

Presentations

‘Introduction to Knowledge Exchange‘ – presentation by Aileen Marshall-Brown (Research Impact Facilitator, Social Sciences Division)

The presentation reflects on the background of the current focus on impact and knowledge exchange, and motivations and aims in relation to exchange of knowledge and generation of impact; it offers a look at range of potential KE activities, and opportunities as well as challenges of engaging with stakeholders, and recognises the importance of evaluating impact of one’s research.

‘Evaluating Knowledge Exchange and Impact’ – presentation by Professor Alis Oancea (Director of Research, Department of Education)

In this presentation, Professor Oancea looks at the process of evaluation of knowledge exchange activities, and of research impact, by offering different evaluation designs, and suggesting various elements of KE activities that could be subject to assessment, such as objectives, relationships, and activities.

‘Top tips when engaging with stakeholders’ – presentation by Professor Judy Sebba (Former Director of the Rees Centre)

Professor Sebba reflects on the work of the REES Centre, and its commitment to building effective relationships with policymakers and practitioners, through various activities ranging from government briefings, through researcher-in-residence and visiting placements to the Centre schemes, to use of social media.

‘Interacting with stakeholders’ – presentation by Dr Stuart Basten (Associate Professor in Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

In this presentation, Dr Basten draws on his experience of research on policy and population in Asia, to offer practical advice on building fruitful relationships with stakeholders, and achieving beneficial user engagement from the research design stage.

Summaries of IAA-Awarded research

  • Accelerating International Impact to Improve Health Outcomes for HIV-positive and Abused Children, Dr Lucie Cluver (Department of Social Policy and Intervention, IAA award recipient)

Working with organisations including UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, Dr Lucie Cluver will use the KE Award to accelerate the impact of research on policy for AIDS-affected children. The research team have a proven track record of impact in this area with two previous studies having been cited in South African and US government policies.
Two new projects were launched in 2014, one addressing abuse of AIDS-affected children in Southern Africa and the other promoting adherence to antiretroviral therapy and sexual and reproductive health services for HIV+ adolescents. A knowledge exchange research assistant will work with the team and the various partner organisations to ensure the maximum level of impact is achieved in these important areas.

  • Increasing state capacity to reduce cybercrime, Professor Ian Brown (Oxford Internet Institute, IAA award recipient)

In collaboration with the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI) and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Dr Ian Brown will contribute to the CCI’s programme of needs assessments for Commonwealth member countries in combatting cybercrime and help to further develop the NCA’s work on more effective processes for law enforcement agencies to gain access to digital evidence held outside their own jurisdiction, in a way that maintains essential human rights protections.
This will feed into the development and evaluation of the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model, currently underway at Oxford, ensuring that the Model is of maximum utility to external users in reducing overall levels of cybercrime and increasing national cyber security. It will also strengthen the links between Oxford, the Commonwealth and its member states, and the NCA, enabling future knowledge exchange and cooperative research.

  • Developing evidence-informed educational practice for children in care, Professor Judy Sebba (Department of Education, IAA award recipient)

Two visiting practitioner fellows, Dr Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak, from the national and Oxfordshire ‘Virtual Schools’ (teams in every local authority appointed to promote the educational outcomes of children in care by working across schools) will be based at the Rees Centre to further develop working relationships between educational service providers and researchers.
At a time of significant change in their responsibilities, the fellowships will benefit national and local providers of educational services for children in care by supporting teachers, foster carers, schools, social workers, young people in care, local authorities and the DfE to make better use of research so that decisions reflect findings. The fellows will help to hone the Centre’s research and how it communicates and supports service providers to interpret and use it.

  • Legal arrangements for cross-border resolution and liquidity within over the counter (OTC) derivatives markets, Dr Dan Awrey (Faculty of Law , IAA award recipient)

Working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Dr Dan Awrey and colleagues from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame have organised a series of knowledge exchange workshops with the aim of improving understanding of the relationship between law and finance within the global financial system.
These one-day workshops will feature analysis and perspectives from academics working in the fields of law, economics and finance; from financial policymakers at the FRBC and elsewhere, and from the market participants impacted by financial policy decisions. The inaugural workshop, hosted by the FRBC, will examine the legal arrangements for cross-border resolution and liquidity within OTC derivatives markets.

  • Building Grassroots Engagement with the Climate Crunch debate (BGECC), Mr Roger Street and Dr Christopher Shaw (Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, IAA award recipients)

This fellowship will see Dr Shaw embedded within the Fleming Policy Centre (FPC) and their extended network of climate policy actors. It will provide a framework in which to apply Dr Shaw’s research on engagement with low carbon initiatives by the public, business and all sectors and build on the FPC’s practical experience of working with diverse energy and policy organisations and the grassroots.
The partnership will improve the effectiveness of the FPC’s work for the benefit of national and international climate policy and society as a whole and generate insights of relevance to a broad range of actors working across related fields. It will enhance Dr Shaw’s research and his understanding of research users and their needs and the challenges of engaging individuals, communities and organisations with decarbonisation.

Seminar series

Materials from a high-profile seminar series on ‘Impact and Knowledge Exchange in an Evolving Research Environment’, held at the University of Oxford and convened by Professors Roger Goodman (Head of the Social Sciences Division) and Alis Oancea (Director of Research, Department of Education).

  • Seminar 1 – In metrics we trust, Professors James Wilsdon (University of Sussex) & David Walker (Academy of Social Sciences)

Download the presentation – oxford_metrics_wilsdon_walker_6may

Download the presentation – hill_presentation

Download the presentation – belfiore_presentation

Download the presentation – wouters_presentation

Download the presentation – kerridge_presentation

Discussion chaired by Professor Roger Goodman (Social Sciences Division) and including Sir Andrew Dilnot (Warden of Nuffield College Oxford and Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority), Dr Claire Donovan (Reader in Science and Technology Studies, Brunel University London), Professor Colette Fagan (Professor of Sociology and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester), Professor Alis Oancea (Director of Research, Department of Education) and Professor Ian Walmsley (Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics and Professorial Fellow of St Hugh’s College)

 

Interviews

  • Dr Dan Awrey (Faculty of Law) talks about setting-up collaborations to improve understanding of the relationship between law and finance within the global financial system. Watch Developing Networks to Inform Research on Derivatives Market – part 1, part 2

More about this project:

Working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Dr Dan Awrey and colleagues from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame have organised a series of knowledge exchange workshops with the aim of improving understanding of the relationship between law and finance within the global financial system.

These one-day workshops will feature analysis and perspectives from academics working in the fields of law, economics and finance; from financial policymakers at the FRBC and elsewhere, and from the market participants impacted by financial policy decisions. The inaugural workshop, hosted by the FRBC, will examine the legal arrangements for cross-border resolution and liquidity within OTC derivatives markets.

  • Professor Ian Brown (Professor of Information Security and Privacy, Oxford Internet Institute) talks about collaborating with different stakeholders to carry-out research on increasing state capacity to reduce cyber-crime: Watch Using Research on Cyber-security for Capacity Building Purposes – part 1, part 2

Project description: Increasing state capacity to reduce cybercrime

In collaboration with the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI) and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Dr Ian Brown will contribute to the CCI’s programme of needs assessments for Commonwealth member countries in combatting cybercrime and help to further develop the NCA’s work on more effective processes for law enforcement agencies to gain access to digital evidence held outside their own jurisdiction, in a way that maintains essential human rights protections.

This will feed into the development and evaluation of the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model, currently underway at Oxford, ensuring that the Model is of maximum utility to external users in reducing overall levels of cybercrime and increasing national cyber security. It will also strengthen the links between Oxford, the Commonwealth and its member states, and the NCA, enabling future knowledge exchange and cooperative research.

More about this project:

Project description: Developing evidence-informed educational practice for children in care

Two visiting practitioner fellows, Dr Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak (see below), from the national and Oxfordshire ‘Virtual Schools’ (teams in every local authority appointed to promote the educational outcomes of children in care by working across schools) will be based at the Rees Centre to further develop working relationships between educational service providers and researchers.

At a time of significant change in their responsibilities, the fellowships will benefit national and local providers of educational services for children in care by supporting teachers, foster carers, schools, social workers, young people in care, local authorities and the DfE to make better use of research so that decisions reflect findings. The fellows will help to hone the Centre’s research and how it communicates and supports service providers to interpret and use it.

More about this project:

Project description: Building Grassroots Engagement with the Climate Crunch debate (BGECC)
(with Mr Roger Street)

This fellowship will see Dr Shaw embedded within the Fleming Policy Centre (FPC) and their extended network of climate policy actors. It will provide a framework in which to apply Dr Shaw’s research on engagement with low carbon initiatives by the public, business and all sectors and build on the FPC’s practical experience of working with diverse energy and policy organisations and the grassroots.

The partnership will improve the effectiveness of the FPC’s work for the benefit of national and international climate policy and society as a whole and generate insights of relevance to a broad range of actors working across related fields. It will enhance Dr Shaw’s research and his understanding of research users and their needs and the challenges of engaging individuals, communities and organisations with decarbonisation.

  • Bibliography

    • Abreu, M., Grinevich, V., Hughes, A., Kitson, M., and Ternouth, P. (2008) Universities, Business and Knowledge ExchangeThe Council for Industry and Higher Education and Centre for Business Research-University of Cambridge, London: The Council for Industry and Higher Education.
      The report presents the findings of a qualitative study with over 30 UK Business. It explores business expectations and identifies how they areas where added value their approaches to engage in knowledge exchange.
      The findings highlight the importance of relational approaches as opposed to one-sided transfers, stress the significant role of gatekeepers who are located at the interface of the two worlds and facilitate translation and exchange; it presents the variety of interactions and point out the need to recognise the complexity, move beyond linear metrics and broaden the knowledge exchange agenda.
    • Bate, J. (2011) The Public Value of Humanities. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
      The book argues for the social importance of humanities research at the time when UK government HE funding priorities are increasingly moving towards the discourse of value for (public) money. The essays in this volume are written by UK-based, internationally-renowned researchers, and they provide examples of case studies, in disciplines ranging from theology to media studies, which offer passionate, yet well-argued, support for the case of public value of humanities.
    • British Academy (2008) Punching our weight: The humanities and social sciences in public policymaking. London.
      This report had a purpose of exploring the contribution of research in humanities and social sciences to public policymaking in the UK. Whilst identifying a range of areas in which was the case, the authors also conclude that there is considerable scope for increasing effectiveness of policies by drawing on research, through sustainable relationships between the policymakers and academia, and working on the tension between short-term political pressures and informed calculation of long-term opportunities and uncertainties.
    • Campaign for Social Science (2015). The Business of People: The significance of social science over the next decade. London: Sage.
      The Campaign for Social Science, formed from the Academy of Social Sciences, set up in 2011 to inform public policy and offer recommendation to the newly elected UK government by ‘making the case’ for social science before the Treasury and the policymakers, offers in this report to the public a summary of the ‘business’ of social science: what it entails, what it is that people research, and what it is that they seek to achieve in their work. Through this, the reports demonstrates a wide variety of economic and social dimensions of the current state of social science in the UK.
    • Cartwright, N., & Hardie, J. (2012). Evidence-Based Policy: A Practical Guide for Doing it Better. New York: Oxford University Press.
      This book re-evaluates the golden standard of ‘evidence-based’ policy recommendations, arguing for the revision of the evidence-gathering methods used by policymakers. The authors, who have a background both in academia, and in business and economy, point out the inherent flaw in thinking that the lab-conditions of randomised control trials on which this practice is based, can be successfully translated into the field of social science and real-world politics. The book aims to demonstrate the bad policy decisions which can spring from neglecting this fact, and offer some examples to policymakers of how best to use information and ‘evidence’.
    • European Commission. (2010). Communicating research for evidence-based policymaking: A practical guide for researchers in socio-economic sciences and humanities. Brussels, Belgium.
      The EC-commissioned guide offers practical information on pathways for communicating knowledge from social sciences and humanities, for the purpose of building a more sustainable knowledge base for policymaking at a European level. The guide includes a brief introduction into the matters of knowledge transfer and building of research-policy networks at an EU-level, before providing practical steps towards research dissemination, and engaging and sustaining relationships with policymakers and other stakeholders.
    • European Commission (2014) Communicating EU research and innovation guidance for project participants. Brussels, Belgium.
      Written within the EU research and innovation programme Horizon2020, this short guide offers useful advice for individual researchers on how to communicate their work, from a practical checklist of steps to take (including deciding on a message, choosing an audience and a platform), to case studies of successful communication activities undertaken in past research.
    • Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P. & Trow M. (1994). The New Production of Knowledge. London: Sage.
      This book considers the changing nature of production of scientific knowledge at the end of the last century, with a particular focus on the reflexive and transdisciplinary aspects of the evolving process, and the effect that this has on issues of policy, practice, and institutional, as well as disciplinary change. The focus is on the fields of science and technology, although the authors also reflect on the areas of social sciences and humanities
    • Graham ID, Logan J, Harrison MB, Straus SE, Tetroe J, Caswell W, Robinson N, (2006) Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map? The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26(1), 13–24.
      The paper brings together, defines and clarifies the various -and often confusing- terms used to describe knowledge exchange activity. Drawing on research and policy resources, it provides definitions of the terms: knowledge translation, transfer, exchange, utilization, implementation as well as the terms: dissemination, diffusion, continuing education and continuing professional development. It provides a framework for making sense of the generation and use of knowledge and makes a numbers of recommendations for future practice.
    • HM Treasury (2011) The Green Book: Appraisal and Evaluation in the Central Government. London.
      The UK Treasury’s Green Book, intended for public bodies, presents a robust framework for effective appraisal of project and policy proposals before funds are committed.
    • HM Treasury (2011) The Magenta Book: Guidance for Evaluation. London.
      A complement to the Green Book (see above), this policy document offers detailed guidance of design and implementing of appraisal and evaluation.
    • Martin, B. R. and Puay, T. (2006) The Economic and Social Benefits of Publicly Funded Basic Research. Report to the Office of Science and Innovation, Department of Trade and Industry. Brighton: SPRU.
      Drawing on previous reviews, and the review of the impact literature from the first half of the last decade, this report offers a summary of societal benefits coming from different fields of research, arguing for the need to consider multiple pathways to impact and research uptake channels, as well as offering a discussion of the conceptual challenges to assessing economic and social benefits of publicly funded research
    • Michie, J. and Cooper, C. (Eds) (2015) Why the Social Sciences Matter. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
      This collection of chapters by prominent social scientists in their respective areas, all identifying current societal problems and offering potential solutions, argues for the importance and, in a way, uniqueness of social sciences, in their effort to respond to societal problems in manner that cannot be provided by science, arts, and humanities.
    • Milton, C., Adair, C.E, McKenzie, E., Patten, S.B., Waye, Perry, E. (2007) Knowledge transfer and exchange: review and synthesis of the literatureMilbank Quarterly, Vol. 85(4), 729-768.
      The paper presents the results of a systematic review of literature on Knowledge Transfer and Exchange in the field of health care policy. The aim of the review was to examine the evidence base for Knowledge Transfer and Exchange. The results indicated that although opinion pieces and anecdotal reports were not hard to find, studies that reported KTE implementation strategies and evaluation were limited. Around 20 percent of the studies involved real-world applications of KTE strategies and even less than 20 percent involved formal evaluation. The paper concludes that the evidence base is currently light and more primary research on KTE is needed.
    • Oancea, A (2011) Interpretations and practices of research impact across the range of disciplines. Oxford: University of Oxford.
      This report is of a study commissioned by the University of Oxford to illuminate some of the complexities involved in conceptualising, assessing and demonstrating non-academic impact at institutional and research programme/research project level, across the range of disciplines. The study, based on interview, documentary, and network data from seven case studies drawn from four groups of disciplines (humanities; mathematical, physical, & life sciences; social sciences; and, as a separate project, medical sciences), offers analytic accounts of how impact was framed and pursued in the cases studied; a conceptual model of layered research impact practices, which can be used to organise existing impacts evidence, as well as to structure further evidence collection; the development of a tool for exploring research impact evidence, using qualitative network analysis techniques; and recommendations for higher education institutions.
    • PACEC (2011) Understanding the knowledge Exchange Infrastructure in the English Higher Education System
      This is a report commissioned by HEfCE in order to map out the current state of Knowledge Exchange infrastructure across the English Higher Education Institutions. It draws on Higher Education Innovation Fund data, case studies and evaluation. It examines what the infrastructural components are, how they are organised, how they operate to promote knowledge exchange activities, how they aim to engage and how they support partnerships.
    • RCUK (2010) Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research.
      This policy outline by RCUK specifies funders’ expectations with regards to public engagement, with the view to helping researchers, institutions, and research administrators implement new, and strengthen existing public engagement practices at their institutions.
    • RCUK (2014) Impact through knowledge exchange- RCUK position and expectations
      This document states the Research Councils’ position and expectations regarding the aims and outcomes out of the research they fund, with a focus on delivering societal and cultural benefits as well as benefiting the economy and society. The document refers to researchers as well as outlining expectations for the research organisations they invest on.
    • RCUK (2014) Joint statement on impact by HEFCE, RCUK and UUK
      This document declares the joint commitment of HEFCE, RCUK and UUK to promote and support excellent and internationally competitive research; it states their shared approach to impact, which acknowledges that benefits may be achieved in a variety of contexts and through diverse routes. A commitment to build on past infrastructure and encourage engagement with business, the civil society and the public sector is highlighted as well as the commitment to continue working together on common frameworks.
    • Scott, P. (2015) Clashing concepts and methods: assessing excellence in the humanities and social sciencesHumanities, 4(1), 118-130.
      This is a position paper that critically discusses the criteria and methods of assessing social sciences and humanities research. The paper argues that social sciences and humanities are under pressure in the current conditions of audit culture, normative vocabularies of ‘world-class’, an emphasis towards identifying ‘research themes’ and working in teams. The difficulties in defining ‘excellence’ conceptually, are discussed, by considering how core identities in social sciences and humanities have expanded while more distributed systems of research have emerged. The idea of ‘excellence’ is further unpacked and problematized in relation to the outputs, methodologies and relevance of research as well as in relation to its sustainability in financial, organizational and people-related terms. The paper moves on to discuss different methods of capturing ‘excellence’ along with the values underpinning them: peer review, metrics and performance indicators. It concludes by identifying a tension between more prescriptive methods of assessment on the one hand and more open and fluid definitions of excellence on the other.
    • Ulrichsen, T.C. (2014) Knowledge Exchange Performance and the Impact of HEIF in the English Higher Education Sector, Report for HEFCE. London: HEfCE.
      This report was commissioned by HEFCE and its objective is to look into the knowledge exchange performance in English Higher Education Institutions. The analysis is based on both quantitative data since 2003 and qualitative information. It captures HEIs dealing with the challenges posed by the current economic climate and provides evidence on their strategies for dealing with them and highlights the need for supporting innovation in partnership models.
    • Weiss, C. (1979). The many meanings of research utilizationPublic Administration Review. 39(5): 426-431.
      The departure point of the paper is the increasing interest by social scientists to inform public policy-making through their research, and the increasing concerns on behalf of politicians in relation to the usefulness and relevance of publicly funded research. The paper focuses on making sense of what ‘research utilization’ means. While surveying relevant literature the authors identify seven different understandings of research ‘utilisation’ and respective models: the knowledge-driven model, the problem-solving model, the interactive model, the political model, the tactical model, the enlightenment model and the model that approaches research as part of the intellectual enterprise of the society. The paper concludes with a call to move beyond the rhetoric regarding beneficial contribution of the social sciences to policy-making. It suggests the need to think deeper about the policy imperatives and their role in contributing to the wisdom of social policy.
  • Bibliography - Knowledge Exchange

    Knowledge Exchange:

    • Amara, N., Ouimet, M., and Landry, R. (2004) New Evidence on Instrumental, Conceptual, and Symbolic Utilization of University Research in Government AgenciesScience Communication, Vol. 26 No. 1, 75-106.
      A survey of 833 government officials is conducted to address questions regarding the extent of instrumental, conceptual and symbolic use of university research in government agencies. The authors use econometric models predicting these effects as well as generating regression results stemming from these models. The results suggests that the three types of use of research all play a significant role in government agencies. Large differences with respect to research utilization are seen between policy domains, and a small number of determinant are identified that explain the increase in the use of the three types of use in different ways. Based on these results, the authors make recommendations for increasing the three types of research utilization. Providing researchers with additional incentives could increase instrumental use, and conceptual use would benefit from the circulation of qualitative research reports by policy makers and the involvement or more managers and professionals. Finally, symbolic use could be increased with additional incentives for professionals and managers in government agencies. Limits of these finding are posed due to the fact that the complementary roles of the three type of use are now well known.
    • Brewer, J. (2013). The Public Value of the Social Sciences: An Interpretive Essay. London: Bloomsbury.
      The book discusses the nature of social sciences in the context on current social change. The author problematizes recent developments in higher education policy and discusses their implications for social sciences. He particularly focuses on the challenges posed by the ‘audit culture’ and the ‘impact agenda’ and argues that social sciences need to respond by reframing it in terms of ‘public social science’ and by putting forward their ‘public value’.
    • Contandriopoulos, D., Lemire, M., Denis, J-L., Tremblay, E. (2010). Knowledge Exchange Processes in Organizations and Policy Arenas: A Narrative Systematic Review of the Literature. Milbank Quarterly,Vol. 88(4):444-83.
      This is a large-scale systematic review on knowledge exchange interventions integrating social science research and policymaking and lobbying processes on knowledge exchange interventions at the organizational and policymaking levels. A total of 4,102 documents were identified, 102 of which were analysed in depth in order to identify all articles cited five times or more or books cited seven times or more. The literature was organized around the contexts of politics, economics and social structuring. The model developed suggests that the efficacy of knowledge exchange strategies is not context-independent, and a detailed analysis of context could use the framework presented in order to maximize knowledge use.
    • Cooper, A., Levin, B. and Campbell, C. (2009). The growing (but still limited) importance of evidence in education policy and practiceJournal of Educational Change, Vol.10 (1): 159–171.
      This article employs an emerging field that the authors term knowledge mobilization (KM) in order to examine efforts in education to address the research-practice gap. National and international KM initiatives are considered as well as controversies, issues and challenges arising from evidence and research use in education. The authors also outline future directions to strengthen the role of research and evidence in education, including the recommendation for more active HM work and the development of institutional capacity and infrastructure. The role of intermediary organizations in mediating these KM processes is highlighted.
    • Davies, H. T. O., Nutley, S, Smith, P. C. (2000) What Works?: Evidence-based Policy and Practice in Public Services, Bristol: Policy press.
      This book covers several areas of public service in order to explore how knowledge gained from research can be used in public service delivery and public policy formation in order to improve effectiveness. Areas covered include education, health, social policy, criminal justice, urban policy, social care, housing and transport, and the book examines the creation, dissemination and use of evidence in a series of chapters authored from experts in each of these fields. The book also includes a thematic analysis section, covering more general topics such as debates on the role of experimentation, contributions from qualitative research, and turning evidence-based practice into reality. The book concludes with a discussion of the challenges involved in evidence playing a more central role in future, highlighting the different rates of progress in different public sector areas.
    • Duncan, J. and Conner, L. (Ed.) (2013) Research Partnerships in Early Childhood Education: Teachers and Researchers in Collaboration. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
      The book is an edited volume that brings together examples of research partnerships from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Each chapter discusses research partnerships in different political, socio-cultural and educational settings. The book elaborates on the challenges and opportunities of partnerships in early childhood research, highlighting the benefits and significance of bringing together different forms of expertise.
    • Edwards, A., Sebba, J., and Rickinson, M. (20006) Working with Users: Some Implications for Educational ResearchBritish Educational Research Journal, 33 (5):647-61.
      Based on the experience of the Teaching Learning Research Program and drawing on a series of seminars organised as part of the program, the authors explore educational spaces where research and policy interweave. They discuss the benefits of engaging users in research both for policy and practice and elaborate on this emerging reciprocity and the research project management implications it signifies.
    • Eisinger, A. and Senturia, K. (2001) Doing Community-Driven Research: A Description of Seattle Partners for Healthy Communities,Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 78 (3): 519-534
      This article describes an urban research centre funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as Seattle Partners. Periodic in-depth interviews are primarily employed, identifying the components necessary for establishing a research center driven by community interests. The board of Seattle Patrners identified social determinants of health as the priority area, with skilled individuals, funder support and concrete accomplishments influencing success. Lessons learned relate to developing and maintaining a sense of trust and a collaborative environment, with concomitant commitments of time, goodwill and enthusiasm.
    • Fenwick, T. and Farrell, L. (2012) Knowledge Mobilization and Educational Research: Politics, languages and responsibilities, Abingdon: Routledge.
      This edited volume includes perspectives from Canada, the US, the UK and Australia and offers insights from different disciplines including law, education, digital media studies, museum studies and journalism. It covers issues around the main players in knowledge exchange activities, the politics in knowledge mobilization, the language and enactments as well as the rights and responsibilities involved.
    • Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowonty, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P., Trow, M. (1994) The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies, London: Sage.
      The book suggests and discusses a shift in the production of scientific, cultural and social knowledge. The authors identify the emergence of a new type of knowledge, and discuss it with reference to wider changes occurring in the end of the twentieth century. The main focus is on scientific and technological knowledge, but social sciences and humanities are also discussed. The characteristics of the new mode of knowledge are analysed, highlighting reflexivity, transdisciplinarity and heterogeneity and the implications for its management and dissemination are discussed.
    • Graham ID, Logan J, Harrison MB, Straus SE, Tetroe J, Caswell W, Robinson N, (2006) Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map? The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 13–24.
      The paper brings together, defines and clarifies the various -and often confusing- terms used to describe knowledge exchange activity. Drawing on research and policy resources, it provides definitions of the terms: knowledge translation, transfer, exchange, utilization, implementation as well as the terms: dissemination, diffusion, continuing education and continuing professional development. It provides a framework for making sense of the generation and use of knowledge and makes a numbers of recommendations for future practice.
    • Kelly, U. (2008) Exploring the evidence base: an overview of the literature on the economic impact of knowledge transfer, Glasgow: University of Strathclyde
      This is a discussion paper that draws on previous research projects commissioned by Universities UK and the ESRC. It provides an overview of Knowledge Transfer policies and reviews research on their impacts for a policy point of view. Moreover it reviews and discusses research in relation to the use of metrics in knowledge transfer activities. It concludes by identifying gaps and areas for further research.
    • KITE –Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise (2010) Towards a Stakeholder Perspective on University/ Community Engagement, Working Paper 1 ‘University Learning with Excluded Communities’- Part of the ESRC ‘Regional Economic Contributions of Higher Education Institutions’ programme, Newcastle: KITE, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
      This report presents the findings of the outcomes of the “University learning with excluded communities” project, which is part of the ESRC Regional Economic Contributions of Higher Education Institutions programme.
      It provides an extensive exploration of the changes in the role of universities in post-modern times, elaborating on their engagement mission. The barriers to effective community and university collaboration are highlighted and discussed and suggests a shift from a linear model of engagement to a model of co-construction. The related benefits, dynamics and strategic implication are further discussed.
    • Lencucha, Raphael; Kothari, Anita; and Hamel, Nadia, “Extending Collaborations for Knowledge Translation: Lessons from the Community-based Participatory Research Literature” (2010). Health Studies Publications. Paper 5.
      This study reports an inductive thematic analysis into researcher-decisision-maker knowledge translation partnerships that include community partners. Drawing from the community-based participatory research literature, 42 eligible articles were analysed. The four themes of principles, structure, process and relationships were identified and associate factors that could contribute to KO collaboration among actors. The results are considered within the ‘KT triad’ of community stakeholder groups, researchers and decision-makers, providing lessons to facilitate community collaborations. The inclusion of community partners into research-to-policy deliberations is highlighted as being important.
    • Levin, Ben (2011) Mobilising Research Knowledge in EducationLondon Review of Education, Vol. 9(1) p15-26
      The paper provides a definition of ‘knowledge’ and ‘mobilization’ and outlines a framework for understanding how mobilization happens. It discusses a number of factors that have contributed to the advancement of understandings and capacity in knowledge mobilization. Moreover it examines how practices are changing, points out on the challenges in researching this field and concludes by offering suggestions for promoting knowledge mobilization.
    • Lupton, D. (2014). Feeling better connected’: academics’ use of social media, Canberra: News and Media Research Centre, University of Canberra.
      This report surveyed 711 academics about their use of social media, seeking to identify the tools they used, those they found most useful, and the benefits and drawbacks of social media use in an academic setting, drawing from both faculty members and postgraduate students. Benefits include both connecting, and establishing networks with academics and individuals and groups outside universities in order to share information, receive support, and publicize and develop research. Concerns include issues of privacy and the mixing of personal and professional use, such as risks to career or credibility and time pressures. Possible plagiarism of ideas was also cited as a concern, as well as becoming a target of attack, and too much self-promotion by others. Suggested areas of future research include using qualitative research to understand the contribution of social media to the ‘making up’ of the academic self, and the management of online interactions and identities.
    • Mewburn, I., Thomson, P. (2013). Why do academics blog? An analysis of audiences, purposes and challengesStudies in Higher Education, Vol. 38 (8):1105-1119.
      The authors analyze the content of 100 academic blogs and show that academics usually write about academic work conditions and policy contexts, provide advice and share information. Other higher education staff is the intended audience of these blogs, and the authors suggest that the blogs constitute a ‘gift economy’ generated by a community of public/private academics. Academic blogging is increasing of interest of institutions that could challenge current practices. Academic blogging is a field that warrants further research and can be considered as a social community in the context of institutional pressures and higher education policy.
    • Meyer, K. A., McNeal, L. (2011). Academics online: Their interests and foiblesThe Internet and Higher Education, Vol. 14 (2): 113-120.
      This study evaluated 40 online discussions hosted on ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’ website. The personal and professional lives of faculty were the main topic in the majority of discussions (80%) that did not last for more than one month, while 15% of the discussion experienced hijacking. Negative comments about others including personal and rude comments about others in the discussion were seen in 37.5% of the discussions, showing the “online disinhibition effect”. Recommendations include self-restraint and the development and promotion of guidelines for participants in online venues.
    • Mitton, C., Adair, C.E, McKenzie, E., Patten, S.B., Waye, Perry, E. (2007) Knowledge Transfer and Exchange: Review and Synthesis of the LiteratureMilbank Quarterly, Vol. 85(4):729-768.
      The paper presents the results of a systematic review of literature on Knowledge Transfer and Exchange in the field of health care policy. The aim of the review was to examine the evidence base for Knowledge Transfer and Exchange. The results indicated that although opinion pieces and anecdotal reports were not hard to find, studies that reported KTE implementation strategies and evaluation were limited. Around 20 percent of the studies involved real-world applications of KTE strategies and even less than 20 percent involved formal evaluation. The paper concludes that the evidence base is currently light and more primary research on KTE is needed.
    • Nutley, S., Downe, J., Martin, S., Grace, C. (2012). Policy transfer and convergence within the UK: the case of local government performance improvement regimesPolicy and Politics, Vol. 40(2): 193-209.
      This paper analyses the development and implementation of local government performance improvement regimes within the UK. The government of England, Scotland and Wales had common aim of improving local government performance, but differed in ideology, the numbers of councils, and the nature of the relations between central and local government. Furthermore an argument is made that the politics of newly devolved administrations posed limits on policy learning between different parts of the UK.
    • Nutley, S. M. (2007). Using Evidence: How Research Can Inform Public Services. Bristol: Policy Press
      This book explores evidence use within the context of ensuring that the best available evidence is used to improve public services. The author draws together current knowledge about research use in evidence-based policy and practice in public services, and explores multidisciplinary frameworks, and the assessment of research use and impact. Furthermore, in order to show how research is used and how its use can be improved, a summary of empirical evidence from health care, social care, education and criminal justice is provided, highlighting areas that need to be addressed to improve the impact of research on public services.
    • Phillipson, J., Lowe, P., Proctor, A., Ruto, E. (2012). Stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange in environmental researchJournal of Environmental Management, Vol. 95(1):56-65.
      This article presents a systemic investigation into the specific practices of knowledge exchange and their relative merits with respect to stakeholder engagement during research. Based on a survey of 21 research projects within the UK Research Councils’ Rural Economy and Land Use Programme regarding the involvement of over a thousand stakeholders, the study reports that most stakeholders were involved as research subjects or as event participants, with many engaged in the research process itself. Exchange of staff and the involvement of stakeholders in research advisory groups brings mutual benefits, while different patterns of engagement are associated with different stakeholder sectors, leading to contrasting impact patterns. The early processes of stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange therefore merit greater attention.
    • Rickinson, M., Sebba, J., & Edwards, A. (2011). Improving User-engagement in Educational Research. London: Routledge.
      Against the backdrop of evidenced-based policy and practice the book highlights the key role of research utilisation and the engagement of users in and with research. The authors introduce the concept of user engagement with reference to different types of expertise held by researchers and users, and relate it to debates about research quality and relevance, forms of knowledge production and research impact and use. They then focus on user engagement in educational research in terms of knowledge flows between the fields of research and practise, while acknowledging the relevance of their discussion for other social sciences research. They outline 5 research approaches to engaging users in educational research as it is taking place: creating feedback loops, university led participatory research, combining small-scale studies, co-research for conceptual development, user-led research. They also point out on some implications for research management. The authors move on to further unpack user engagement with reference to research, which involves links with field-based practitioners, service-users and policy-makers. They argue that a focus on user engagement bears considerable implications both for the researchers and their practice as well as for research users.
    • Savage, M., Devine, F., Cunningham, N., Taylor, M., Li, Y., Hjellbrekke, J., Le Roux, B., Friedman, S., Miles, A. (2013) A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment.
      The paper discusses a shift in the understanding and analysis of social class. This new approach is developed drawing on the Great British Class Survey that was conducted in collaboration with the BBC. It is a multi-dimensional model of seven classes that takes into account the social and cultural elements of class stratification and highlights the fractions within the middle layers.
    • Tseng, V., Nutley, S. (2014). Building the Infrastructure to Improve the Use and Usefulness of Research in Education, in Finnigan, K.S. and Daly A.J. (eds), Using Research Evidence in Education: From the Schoolhouse Door to the Capitol Hill, Springer: New York.
      This book chapter synthesizes themes from other chapters in the same book, focusing on efforts to promote research uptake through the use of research evidence. The authors argue for a stronger infrastructure to connect research with policy and practice in order to improve the usefulness of research, given that researchers, policymakers and practitioners have differing incentives, and approaches. Furthermore, the authors make the case for building trust, capacity and strong relationships as the conditions for productive evidence integration, in order to use research in framing problems, decision-making and education.
    • Veletsianos, G. (2011). Higher education scholars’ participation and practices on Twitter. Journal of Assisted Computer Learning, Vol. 28(4): 336-349.
      This paper aims to understand scholars’ use of online social networks among higher education faculty, with a focus on the use of Twitter. The tweets of 45 scholars were analyzed qualitatively. Findings were that scholars shared information, media and resources that related to their professional practice, information was shared about classrooms and students, assistance and suggestions were offered and received. Furthermore scholars engaged in social commentary, digital identity and impression management, sought to network and make connections and highlighted their participation on networks outside Twitter. The paper therefore presents a snapshot of the emergence of online social spaces and online scholarship.
    • Ward, V., Smith, S., House, A., Hamer, S. (2012). Exploring knowledge exchange: A useful framework for practice and policy, Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 74(3):297-304.
      This article reports an investigation into the validity of dynamic and fluid definition of knowledge exchange, with the goal of understanding whether these definition of knowledge exchange are valid. A knowledge broker was embedded within three service delivery teams operating in a UK mental health organization, who participate in problem-solving processes and collected observational and interview data. Quantitative analysis illustrated that five components of knowledge exchange (problem, context, knowledge, activities, use) do not occur in a set order and can all be at play. The findings challenge some of the linear approaches to knowledge translation. This work led to a revised more realistic, descriptive framework that can help to reorient and act as a starting point for further research and evaluation of knowledge exchange.
    • Ward, V., House, A., Hamer, S. (2009) Knowledge Brokering: The missing link in the Evidence to Action Chain? Evidence and Policy, 5 (3): 267-279
      The paper argues for key role of intermediaries or brokers to facilitate effective transferring of research evidence into healthcare policy and practice. The authors draw on research and other related literature to discuss the theory that underpins knowledge brokering and identify three models of putting it into practice: knowledge management, linkage and exchange and capacity building. That paper also includes a discussion on the challenges highlighting the time and resources required, the lack of clear division between brokering roles, the wide range of skills required
    • Weiss, C. (1979). The many meanings of research utilizationPublic Administration Review. 39(5): 426-431.
      The departure point of the paper is the increasing interest by social scientists to inform public policy-making through their research, and the increasing concerns on behalf of politicians in relation to the usefulness and relevance of publicly funded research. The paper focuses on making sense of what ‘research utilization’ means. While surveying relevant literature the authors identify seven different understandings of research ‘utilisation’ and respective models: the knowledge-driven model, the problem-solving model, the interactive model, the political model, the tactical model, the enlightenment model and the model that approaches research as part of the intellectual enterprise of the society. The paper concludes with a call to move beyond the rhetorics regarding beneficial contribution of the social sciences to policy-making. It suggests the need to think deeper about the policy imperatives and their role in contributing to the wisdom of social policy
  • Bibliography - Research Impact

    • Bastow, S., Dunleavy, P., Tinkler, J., Bisiaux, R., & Dunleavy, P. J. (2014). The impact of the social sciences: How academics and their research make a difference. London: Sage.
      The book is a result of a study looking into the impact that over 300 UK-based academics achieved in the areas of economy, public policy, and the civil society sector. Its analysis of impact in these areas grapples with issues of conceptualising and measuring, as well as improving impact, both for individual researchers, and for research units. The book is a useful insight into the ways in which value and impact of funded research can be achieved in social sciences.
    • Bate, J. (2011). The Public Value of Humanities. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
      The book argues for the social importance of humanities research at the time when UK government HE funding priorities are increasingly moving towards the discourse of value for (public) money. The essays in this volume are written by UK-based, internationally-renowned researchers, and they provide examples of case studies, in disciplines ranging from theology to media studies, which offer passionate, yet well-argued, support for the case of public value of humanities.
    • Belfiore, B. (2015). ‘Impact’, ‘value’ and ‘bad economics’: Making sense of the problem of value in the arts and humanitiesArts & Humanities in Higher Education, 14(1), 95-110.
      Another title that tackles the question of public value of arts and humanities research, this article starts with the ‘cultural value debate’ of the current British cultural policy, and offers a critical discussion of economic aspect of defining and measuring ‘ cultural value’, making a plea for a reimagining impact agenda so it resists the not always helpful – and certainly sometimes detrimental – focus on its economic component.
    • Bornmann, B. (2012). Measuring the societal impact of researchScience & Society, 13(8), 673-676.
      This article offers a concise consideration of moving from measuring solely the quality of scientific research, to also measuring its societal impact, as an important factor in deciding public funding of research. It compares the now fairly precise and sophisticated indicators of the former with a still sometimes vague and un-pinnable nature of the latter, and argues for the necessity of developing measurement indicators for social impact in the future, both for the benefit of researchers who need to ensure, track, and evidence the impact of their research, and those who will perform assessment later on. The author highlights that this will have to be performed by academics themselves, in a manner that takes into account the breadth of disciplines and their various approaches and benefits to the society, and concedes that at this moment assessment of impact by expert panels, based on submission of case studies (as in the REF exercise) is probably the most sensible solution.
    • Brewer, J. (2013). The Public Value of the Social Sciences: An Interpretive Essay. London: Bloomsbury.
      This book, in a form of an interpretive essay, argues for the reframing of ‘impact’, perceived as a potentially flawed concept that invites the necessity of measurement and enables the blossoming of the audit culture in the academia, towards the concept of ‘value’, offering vignettes that demonstrate various interpretations of value in the social science, thus seeking to stimulate the debate in the field about the nature and purpose of social sciences within the discourse of promoting ‘public good’ through both teaching and research.
    • Campaign for Social Science (2015). The Business of People: The significance of social science over the next decade. London: Sage.
      The Campaign for Social Science, formed from the Academy of Social Sciences, set up in 2011 to inform public policy and offer recommendation to the newly elected UK government by ‘making the case’ for social science before the Treasury and the policymakers, offers in this report to the public a summary of the ‘business’ of social science: what it entails, what it is that people research, and what it is that they seek to achieve in their work. Through this, the reports demonstrates a wide variety of economic and social dimensions of the current state of social science in the UK.
    • Cartwright, N., & Hardie, J. (2012). Evidence-Based Policy: A Practical Guide for Doing it Better. New York: Oxford University Press.
      This book re-evaluates the golden standard of ‘evidence-based’ policy recommendations, arguing for the revision of the evidence-gathering methods used by policymakers. The authors, who have a background both in academia, and in business and economy, point out the inherent flaw in thinking that the lab-conditions of randomised control trials on which this practice is based, can be successfully translated into the field of social science and real-world politics. The book aims to demonstrate the bad policy decisions which can spring from neglecting this fact, and offer some examples to policymakers of how best to use information and ‘evidence’.
    • Cherney, A., Head, B., Boreham, P., Povey, J., & Ferguson, M. (2012). Perspectives of academic social scientists on knowledge transfer and research collaborations: a cross-sectional survey of Australian academics. Evidence & Policy, 8(4), 433-453.
      The article is based on a survey of Australian social scientists on their experience in collaborative research, and knowledge exchange with the research ‘users’. It highlights the benefits arising from collaborative research, but demonstrates various obstacles to knowledge transfer, and seeks to identify factors that influence the research uptake by users amongst the government and practitioners.
    • Dean et al (Eds) (2013). 7 Essays on Impact. DESCRIBE Project Report for Jisc. University of Exeter.
      Seven essays in this report offer some conceptual, but predominantly practical, deliberations on the nature of impact and the ways of enabling it through various pathways, as well as assessing, measuring, and reporting impact. The approaches range from frameworks and methodologies for individual researchers and institutions, through organisational restructuring and recommendations for policy, to advice on possible ‘impact information management systems’.
    • Donovan, C. (2008) The Australian Research Quality Framework: a live experiment in capturing the social, economic, environmental, and cultural returns of publicly funded researchNew Directions for Evaluation, 118, 47–60.
      This article provides a recounting of the ‘live experiment’ of Australia’s Research Quality Framework (RQF), which was one of the first attempts to develop an exercise that would assess societal impact of research in all its contextual breadth. Due to some difficulties around its development, particularly around defining the notion of impact, the framework was never actually implemented, however, the author offers a precious insight into original efforts to redefine research evaluation, that would come to inform the current REF exercise in the UK.
    • Furlong, J. & Oancea A. (2007). Assessing Quality in Applied and Practice-Based Research in Education: Continuing the DebateResearch Papers in Education, 22(2), 115-118.
      Within the context of the then Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the authors aim to understand the possibility for articulating and assessing the quality of research that is largely applicable or practice-based, as is often the case in the field of education. It is particularly interesting engaging in this deliberation at the present moment, when the agenda for assessing the quality of research has actually moved towards being in favour of the broadly considered ‘applied’ research.
    • Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P. & Trow M. (1994). The New Production of Knowledge. London: Sage.
      This book considers the changing nature of production of scientific knowledge at the end of the last century, with a particular focus on the reflexive and transdisciplinary aspects of the evolving process, and the effect that this has on issues of policy, practice, and institutional, as well as disciplinary change. The focus is on the fields of science and technology, although the authors also reflect on the areas of social sciences and humanities.
    • Grant, J., Brutscher, P., Kirk, S., Butler, L., & Wooding, S. (2009). Capturing Research Impacts: A review of international practice. Cambridge, UK: RAND Europe.
      This report, prepared for HEFCE in the run-up to the first REF exercise is useful in two ways: on one hand it offers insight into the development of the REF, particularly recommendations that the authors make as regards the impact assessment critieria; and secondly, it offers the review of the then international practice, and the models that were chosen to inform the exercise: UK RAND/ARC Impact Scoring System (RAISS), the US Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), the Dutch Evaluating Research in Context (ERiC) and the Australian Research Quality and Accessibility Framework (RQF) (see Donovan, 2008 above).
    • Hammarfelt, B. (2014) Using altmetrics for assessing research impact in the humanitiesScientometrics, 101(2), 1419-1430.
      This article is a product of analysis of altmetric coverage of outputs within Swedish universities humanities in 2012, and in it, the author discusses the potential of using altmetrics (instead of/complementary to) bibliometrics in the assessment of impact of research in humanities. Some of the main coverage platforms, such as Mendeley, Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere are considered, as are the challenges that the use of altmetrics shares with bibliometrics in the field of humanities: predominant reliance on print, and some degree of oversight when it comes to non-English publications and publications that are not in academic-journal-form.
    • King’s College Policy Institute and Digital Science (2015) The Nature, Scale and Beneficiaries of Research Impact: An initial analysis of Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 impact case studies. Research commissioned by HEFCE.
      This report, commissioned by HEFCE, and published only months after the REF results were announced, is a first analytic overview of the wealth and breadth of impact types documented in the 6,679 impact case studies submitted to the 2014 REF.
    • Martin, B. R. and Puay, T. (2006) The Economic and Social Benefits of Publicly Funded Basic Research. Report to the Office of Science and Innovation, Department of Trade and Industry. Brighton: SPRU.
      Drawing on previous reviews, and the review of the impact literature from the first half of the last decade, this report offers a summary of societal benefits coming from different fields of research, arguing for the need to consider multiple pathways to impact and research uptake channels, as well as offering a discussion of the conceptual challenges to assessing economic and social benefits of publicly funded research.
    • Michie, J. and Cooper, C. (Eds) (2015) Why the Social Sciences Matter. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
      This collection of chapters by prominent social scientists in their respective areas, all identifying current societal problems and offering potential solutions, argues for the importance and, in a way, uniqueness of social sciences, in their effort to respond to societal problems in manner that cannot be provided by science, arts, and humanities.
    • Molas-Gallart, J. & Tang, P. (2011). Tracing ‘productive interactions’ to identify social impacts: an example from the social sciencesResearch Evaluation, 20(3), 219-226.
      This article, based on an interview programme with researchers in a Welsh university, explains the application of the ‘SIAMPI’ approach, and is, as authors argue, particularly relevant for social sciences in its focus on the ‘productive interactions’ between researchers and potential end-users in assessing research impact (particularly the attribution component of it), as it takes into account that in this area, research itself is but one aspect of various social processes that lead to impact.
    • Morton, S. and Flemming, J. (2013) Assessing research impact: a case study of participatory research. Briefing. Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. Edinburgh.
      This is a briefing on a project that used two case studies – one of which, on de-institutionalisation of childcare in Ukraine is presented here – as a basis for application of a framework developed by one of the authors, a knowledge exchange professional and impact analyst, to assess impact of social action research at De Montfort University, led by the other author. This text offers a useful consideration of the process of assessing impact, including differentiation between uptake, use, and impact (the various stages of achieving impact), as well as questions of timing, attribution, and the added-on value of research to the social situation/problem, that researchers should bear in mind.
    • Neresini, F., & Bucchi, M. (2011). Which indicators for the new public engagement activities? An exploratory study of European research institutionsPublic Understanding of Science, 20(1), 64-79.
      The authors of this article look into the institutionalisation of public engagement activities across 40 European research organisations, including standard activities and dedicated resources, concluding that there is a great unevenness and a lack of regulation across the board, and arguing for introduction of performance indicators for this specific aspect of knowledge exchange and impact as a way of tackling this.
    • Oancea A (2011) Interpretations and practices of research impact across the range of disciplines. Oxford: University of Oxford.
      This report is of a study commissioned by the University of Oxford to illuminate some of the complexities involved in conceptualising, assessing and demonstrating non-academic impact at institutional and research programme/research project level, across the range of disciplines. The study, based on interview, documentary, and network data from seven case studies drawn from four groups of disciplines (humanities; mathematical, physical, & life sciences; social sciences; and, as a separate project, medical sciences), offers analytic accounts of how impact was framed and pursued in the cases studied; a conceptual model of layered research impact practices, which can be used to organise existing impacts evidence, as well as to structure further evidence collection; the development of a tool for exploring research impact evidence, using qualitative network analysis techniques; and recommendations for higher education institutions.
    • Oancea, A. (2013). Interpretations of research impact in seven disciplinesEuropean Educational Research Journal, 12(2), 242-250.
      This article is based on a 2010–11 study involving senior researchers from seven disciplines (see Oancea, 2011 above), and it provides a critical exploration of the different interpretations of impact in seven disciplines, as well as researchers’ views on the relationship between these interpretations and institutional impact agendas. The author argues that this is a fruitful context in which to consider and reconceptualise the notions of impact and accountability, as well as assessment methodologies, but also points to the limitations of short-term ideas of impact and of insistence on linear research-to-impact trajectories.
    • Oancea, A. (2013). Buzzwords and values: The prominence of “impact” in UK research policy and governance. Research Trends, 33, 6-8.
      This article explores complex roots in policy discourses around wealth creation, user relevance, public accountability, and evidence-based decision-making of the current focus on the impact of research beyond academia. While various issues around performance-based higher education funding and the public accountability of universities, together with underpinning values and assumptions, remain unresolved, the author argues, some of this complexity was, at the time of preparation for the UK’s first ever 2014 REF exercise, forgone in favour of the practical and technical matters of designing and using measures of impact.
    • Oancea, A. (2007). From Procrustes to Proteus: Trends and practices in the assessment of education research. International Journal for Research Methods in Education, 30(3), 243-269.
      This article reflects on evaluation of educational research, with the focus on the UK context, but with an overview of the then practices in six countries, identifying eight trends in the evaluation of education research (from performance-based funding and institutionalisation of assessment, to the de-sensitivisation of research assessment). The author also looks at the benefits of, and potential problems with, three types of assessment practices: peer review, bibliometrics, and econometrics. Issues touched upon in the article include the tension between instrumentality of educational research evaluation and the epistemic particularity of different fields, modes or genres of research, and their underlying assumptions about knowledge, as well as often neglected cultural and social dimensions of research evaluation as a practice.
    • Ovseiko, P.V., Oancea, A., Buchan, A.M. (2012). Assessing Research Impact in Academic Clinical Medicine: A Study Using Research Excellence Framework Pilot Impact IndicatorsBMC Health Services Research, 12:478.
      The paper focuses on the assessment of research in clinical medicine and examines the indicators used by HEFCE for the 2010 impact pilot exercise. The paper draws on data from the pilot submission of Oxford University’s Research Excellence Framework and uses the results of a survey with 289 clinical medicine faculty members. These empirical data are deployed alongside relevant literature in order to demonstrate how these impact assessment indicators operate. The authors identify strengths, but also point out on a number of weaknesses of some indicators and suggest that significant methodological improvements should be enhance reliability.
    • Ozga, J. (2007). Knowledge and Policy: Research and Knowledge Transfer. Critical Studies in Education. 48(1), 63-78.
      This article offers a critical reflection on ‘knowledge transfer’ as the ‘third sector’ of university, joining research and teaching as a practice of primary importance. The author looks at the implementation of knowledge transfer in universities in Scotland, and discusses some of the underlying issues of the KT agenda, such as knowledge economy, and ‘value for money’.
    • RCUK (2010) Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research.
      This policy outline by RCUK specifies funders’ expectations with regards to public engagement, with the view to helping researchers, institutions, and research administrators implement new, and strengthen existing public engagement practices at their institutions.
    • Rickinson, M., Sebba, J., & Edwards, A. (2011). Improving Research through User-engagement. London: Routledge.
      Including users in the stage of the initial research design (beyond commission) and all the subsequent stages of the research process is a good way of ensuring impact. The authors of this book offer a very useful overview of the theoretical, practical, and empirical dimensions of research methodology based on user engagement, in particular in social sciences and educational research, considering the opportunities it offers, but also the challenges it presents in terms of working with users, in particular policymakers and service users, from the very beginning.
    • Russell Group Papers (2012). The social impact of research conducted in Russell Group universities.
      This report offers an overview of societal benefits achieved through Russell Group universities’ research. This was the second report of the kind, and whilst the first largely focused on economic benefits, this one looked to explore the contribution to the UK’s society and culture as well.
    • Scoble, R., Dickson, K., Hanney, S., & Rodgers, G.J. (2010). Institutional Strategies for Capturing Socio-Economic Impact of Academic Research. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. 32(5), 499-510.
      The authors of this article offer practical consideration of, and recommendations for embedding strategies for enabling and capturing impact in research institutions. They argue for the necessity of understanding the different types of impact, and providing strategies for tracking it through user engagement, together with a theoretical framework that takes into account both the depth of research, and its ‘spread’.
    • Sebba, J. (2013). An exploratory review of the role of research mediators in social scienceEvidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 9(3) 391-408.
      This article undertakes a review of social science literature to identify the role and methods of research mediators who serve as a link between researchers and users, translating findings, and using networks to facilitate their input into policy and practice.
    • Spaapen, J., & van Drooge, L. (2011). Introducing ‘productive interactions’ in social impact assessment. Research Evaluation, 20(3), 211-218.
      This article explains the concept of ‘productive interactions’ (see Molas-Gallart and Tang, 2011 above), as an alternative model of making interactions between researchers and users transparent, thus contributing to the often difficult-to-evidence attributability of research, and producing some indicators that could lead to tools for measurement. Categories of productive interactions suggested by authors include: direct or personal interactions; indirect interactions through texts or artefacts; and financial interactions through money or ‘in kind’ contributions.
    • Tanner, S. (2012) Measuring the Impact of Digital Resources: The Balanced Value Impact Model. King’s College London, October 2012.
      Another article offering a tool for measuring impact, this one presents The Balanced Value Impact Model (BVI Model). Although the author focuses on digital resources, the model, in its delineation of the process of impact assessment, can be of benefit to anyone thinking about the outcomes of their research that might become objects of impact evaluation.
    • UNICO Commercialising UK Research (2008). Metrics for the Evaluation of Knowledge Transfer Activities at Universities.
      Another text arguing for performance indicators (see Neresini and Bucchi, 2011 above), this report commissioned by UNICO, a UK Technology Transfer association, is a view of the matter of knowledge transfer from the perspective of industry, and it argues for a collaborative development of performance indicators of KT activities within academia
    • Upton, S., Vallance, P. and Goddard, J. (2014) From outcomes to process: evidence for a new approach to research impact assessment. Research Evaluation 23, 352-365.
      This article results from a study of individual and institutional perspectives on research impact across nine British universities. Authors suggest that, despite a wide variety of reported impacts that are aimed for, and ways of pursuing them, the common theme is a high degree of motivation when it comes to knowledge transfer mechanism. They thus propose a future focus on assessing the process, rather than the outcome of impactful research activities.
  • Webography

    • Oxford University’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact support webpage
      The University of Oxford’s webpage on knowledge exchange and impact offers general information on institutional support for KE and impact activities. It includes links to useful information for individual researchers on: accessing relevant services in the university; impact pathways; KE networks;  internal funding opportunities; practical guidance on public engagement; and existing KE/public engagement schemes. Its includes links to various public engagement resources such as Oxford Sparks (with focus on digital platforms).
    • Oxford University Social Science Division’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact webpage
      Social Science Division’s research impact and knowledge exchange team have created this webpage to offer support with a range of matters, including internal and external funding support, information on the REF, ESRC’s Impact Acceleration Account, and Open Access policy, information on KE and impact activities across the division, support with divisional and departmental strategies for research and impact, as well as a range of skills training and resources.
    • Oxford Impacts
      This webpage showcases case studies from the variety of fields and disciplines at the University of Oxford that have had impact on the world. Also provides an opportunity for contribution to the selection.
    • Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources (TIDSR), Oxford Internet Institute
      This toolkit, developed by the Oxford Internet Institute was originally intended for librarians, information managers, publishers, and representatives of funding and research evaluation bodies, to provide a reliable framework for tracking and evaluating use and impact of digitised scholarly resources. With its range of quantitative and qualitative methods (including bibliometrics, webmetrics, questionnaires, interviews, content analysis, and focus groups), and case studies, it is offers a useful resource for individual researchers on ways of distributing, measuring, and evidencing impact created via online platforms.
    • TORCH
      Launched in 2013, The Oxford University Research Centre in the Humanities offers support for cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional research. The website contains information about existing networks, programmes, and projects; resources for knowledge exchange and public engagement activities, and an archive of past public events, workshops, and projects.
    • ISIS Innovation/Oxford University Consulting
      ISIS Innovation is the University of Oxford’s research and technology commercialisation company, offering advice on, and support of, commercialisation pathways, such as patenting, spin-out companies, material sales, or consulting services.
    • Impact of Social Sciences Blog at London School of Economics
      The blog’s audience includes researchers, administrative staff, students, governments and research institutions to improve research impact outside academia, facilitate debate and provide news/updates with a specific focus on the social sciences. Contains LSE Research Impact Manual, blog posts for researchers/students, a living bibliography of free RI writings, and a conference archive with slides on topics such as impact of social science in the UK, and the future of Open Access.
    • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
      The ESRC impact toolkit provides ESRC’s definitions of research impact and KE as well as how to achieve improved impact and effective exchange. Contains free, online modules of RI toolkit, step-by-step presentations and sample forms.
    • National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
      Funded by HEFCE, RCUK, and Wellcome Trust, the centre seeks to inspire and support public engagement activities that enable fruitful translation of academic research into social impact. The webpage offers resources on planning and conducting public engagement activities, including a JISC-funded project on developing capability and collaboration in analysing and articulating impact and benefits of one’s research.
    • REF case studies database
      A comprehensive database of nearly 7,000 impact case studies submitted to 2014 REF, this website offers a wide variety of social impacts, searchable by institution, unit of assessment, subject area, impact types, and impact locations. As such, it contains examples of diverse conceptualisations and demonstrations of ‘impact’ across a range of over twenty subject areas.
    • Cultural Value Project
      The Cultural Value Project blog showcases projects created within an AHRC-funded programme, intended to investigate the value of cultural engagement, the cultural value of the arts and humanities, and facilitate critical discussion of cultural values beyond publicly funded projects to include all self-funded and commercial cultural projects big and small. It offers a directory of funded projects that includes summary, commentary interaction and web/social media links to researchers and external project websites/blogs.
    • Research Unit for Research Utilisation (RURU)
      RURU is a research unit established in 2001 with the aim to better understand how research interacts with policy and practice. The unit offers an online  summaries of its funded projects, together with reference materials on research utilization.
    • Evidence Network, King’s College London
      EN aims to foster communication among active researchers concerned with evidence-informed policy and practice (EBPP) in social and public policy. The network offers free, registered membership, a bi-monthly newsletter, and access to literature and publications.
    • Institute for Knowledge Mobilization (Canadian non-profit)
      The institute is a non-profit think tank based in Canada with a focus on education and learning capacity in knowledge exchange, community engagement, applying research to policy, evaluation and monitoring. Its website features a blog of projects and news, organises annual conferences and courses, and produces a podcast series on knowledge exchange.
    • Research in Practice
      RIP’s goal is to connect research, practice and lived experiences to improve services for children and families. Offers paid subscription service, with access to extensive publications directory, policy updates, webinars, online presentations, audio series, video resources.
    • Alliance for Useful Evidence
      The Alliance is an open-access network for individual researchers, university, government officials, business and charities that provides a platform to discuss improving social research and integrating its evidence-based solutions into policy through various events.  The Evidence Exchange project began in 2014 to address increased desire for knowledge exchange and policy implementation.
    • New Social Media New Social Science (NSMNSS)
      Blog platform designed to discuss integrated use of social media in reporting social science research and the implications of such an integration. Includes blog posts, online forums and conferences, free membership
    • Research Impact Network
      This is a network of UK HE professionals to discuss research impact through online discussion, conferences and workshops. The network organises an annual conference and offers space for online discussion.
    • Research Impact: Turning Research into Action (RIR)
      RIR is a network of 11 Canadian universities and strives to improve research impact outside of academia, connect academia with people and organizations to improve knowledge sharing and better policy making. The network provides research support from academia to general public.
    • The Becker List: Impact Indicators
      Becker Medical Library Model for Assessment of Research Impact is a regularly updated list of indicators for evidencing biomedical research impact. Although not fully translatable into indicators for social science research impact, they can provide some pointers as to the categories of indicators that social scientists could be developing, including economic benefit, and policy and legislation.
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