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Dr Julie Bayley and Emerald partnership to help strengthen ‘impact literacy’ in the academic community

Dr Julie Bayley and Emerald will accelerate the impact debate and deliver tangible tools and training to build capacity and skill within the impact community

Bingley, United Kingdom, 29 March 2018 – We’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Dr Julie Bayley – incoming Director of Research Impact Development (University of Lincoln), champion of the ARMA Impact Special Interest Group and one of the most influential voices in research impact. 

The research sector is increasingly tasked with demonstrating impact, and at Emerald we recognize the challenges for colleagues within the UK and internationally. 

Alongside national assessment exercises (e.g. Research Excellence Framework 2014, 2021), there is growing recognition that traditional metrics cannot fully demonstrate the value of academic research. For example, seven of the UK’s research councils recently signed up to DORA (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment), heralding a call to shift from blunt journal impact factors towards more comprehensive indicators of influence. This move has added further heat to an already lively debate on the importance of academic research delivering real impact, extending beyond citations and other established scholarly metrics. 

There is a genuine need to help researchers prove their work is making a meaningful difference at a time when funding is increasingly dependent on demonstrating influence on practice, policy and society. Julie and Emerald will work together to build tools and training, helping the academic community to navigate these challenges by becoming more ‘impact literate’.  Our collaboration will support professional development, institutional strategy and individual knowledge and skills. 

We recognize impact is not straightforward, and so will be developing a suite of support resources. As Emerald’s role is to help researchers tell the story of their research in a meaningful way, and to give them the right tools to bring their research to life, we will be launching a range of tools such as an Impact Literacy Workbook and Impact Institutional Health Guide. This will be supported by professional development and mentoring activities led by Julie Bayley, alongside disrupting and expand discussions about impact and how it can be best achieved. 

Tony Roche, Director, Publishing & Strategic Relationships at Emerald Publishing, said: “This is a really exciting partnership to be entering into. And, at a time when impact is one of the most hotly debated topics in the academic sector due to its influence on funding and an ongoing demand for research to demonstrate real world relevance.

“Julie has forged a reputation for challenging traditional notions of impact, and for leading the way in helping researchers and their institutions understand how they can deliver impact with provable benefits in the real world. She is among the most highly respected and innovative thinkers in the world on impact, and will help Emerald continue to add to the impact debate.

“As a bridge between academic research and practice, we seek to demonstrate the impact of ambitious, interdisciplinary research that tackles global challenges facing society now. As this partnership shows, we recognize that success comes from sharing ideas, nurturing fresh thinking and ensuring we work with the best experts to shape solutions together for the benefit of our communities, and for society as a whole.

Julie Bayley said: “I am delighted to be partnering with Emerald on this initiative, and am very excited about our plans to support the sector. 

“Impact can be a challenging and sometimes intimidating prospect for so many people - particularly for those working in fundamental research or arts and humanities - and by building impact literacy, we can empower people to drive impact in the most meaningful way. 

“It’s extremely heartening to see Emerald’s commitment not only to impact, but also in acknowledging the community of impact practitioners already working so hard to support the agenda. With this collaborative approach, alongside their established reputation within the publishing arena, Emerald are at the forefront of developing impact good practice.”

Further news on developments arising from this exciting partnership will follow in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Real World Impact blog - launched by Emerald in November 2017 - is delivering real value as: a forum for showcasing the impact of social sciences and interdisciplinary research; a means for the research community to share experiences, advice and resources on how to deliver impact; and a catalyst for the impact debate as a whole. If you’d like to get involved by contributing a blog of your own, please read the guidelines here and then email your idea for a contribution to [email protected]