All researchers want their research to have impact – on other scholars, and on the world at large.
Impact is also important for achieving tenure, promotion, merit rises, grants – and all the other enticing apples on the research tree.
But what is impact and how is it measured? Or even, should it be measured? This article will explore these questions, along with criticisms of, and alternatives to, the most "accepted" ways of measuring research impact.
Impact is like a coin, and has two faces. One looks to the world outside academe, at social and economic impact. The other looks at the narrower, but no less important, impact on scholarship.