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Impact of research

Emerald's philosophy concerning impact of research

For nearly 50 years Emerald has firmly believed in publishing research designed to have impact on different audiences (more information is available in our Publishing Philosophy). As a publisher that communicates scholarly research, we see that we play an important role in ensuring that the wider community benefits from the articles and book chapters that we publish.

What does Emerald mean by impact?

We have a broad view of impact and encourage research that supports teaching, that contributes to the body of knowledge, that helps companies to be better managed, that influences public bodies and policymakers, that benefits society or the environment, or that contributes to economic development:

              Image: Impact areas fro research

We don't, of course, believe that every piece of research should fulfil all of these criteria.

In recent years, "research impact" has become a major topic of debate within the academy; this is largely due to the processes for evaluating research and the allocation of funds. The discussion has now even taken on a political dimension: some strongly arguing "for" or "against" impact. Of course, the purpose of research will differ across disciplines and it is important that we don't lose sight of what we are seeking to achieve.

How does Emerald provide impact information?

Emerald seeks to provide impact information through:

  • citation and "impact" figures;
  • usage data;
  • recognizing papers that are excellent and fulfil impact criteria through a number of awards;
  • informing the press when we are aware of research that has interest for a wider public audience;
  • providing a range of journals and books for different target audiences (we believe that not all titles should be measured on citation alone if they communicate to a range of readers);
  • transforming appropriate research papers into a shorter format for easier understanding and more immediate impact in practice and in the classroom;
  • adding "social implications" to the structured abstracts that Emerald requires from journal authors (this means that our abstract now explicitly seeks to draw out research implications, practical implications and social implications).

Emerald impact resources

Emerald has a host of resources and guides for authors and for researchers, many of which are specifically designed to increase the impact of your research, including:

Useful links

Further information about impact can be found from several other sources including, but not limited to, those listed below (please contact Emerald if you know of others you think should be added):

  • Aston Business School
    Research at Aston Business School is designed to be useful to business and management, to inform policy at the regional, national and international level, and to advance theory.

  • Impact Assessment Research Centre (IARC)
    The increasing interest in evidence-based policy-making has raised new challenges and debates among impact assessment researchers and practitioners. By encouraging an integrated approach to impact assessment, the IARC at the University of Manchester seeks to strengthen the linkages between different impact assessment methodologies and practices.

  • LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog
    A joint project between the LSE, Imperial College, and the University of Leeds that seeks to provide a forum for academics, researchers, and others interested in increasing the impact of social science research on government and policymaking, business and civil society.

  • National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement
    Tools and resources to help you engage with the public.