Use refers to the translation, adoption, application and transfer of research concepts, findings, instruments and products developed from them, to different areas of, for example, individual behaviour, organisational practice, or policy. In applied and practice-based research, intended and potential uses are at the centre of research design and implementation. Other modalities of research may not be driven by considerations of use, but may actively seek or respond to opportunities for innovation and application, for example via new measures or research instruments. The use of research by others is a strong signal of research impact, though not a guarantee that the benefits arising from such use are worth the while in terms of scale, depth, or sustainability.
Source: Oancea A (2011) Interpretations and practices of research impact across the range of disciplines. Oxford: University of Oxford.