Are you in?

Let’s advance real impact together by committing to change and focusing on what we can all do to make a difference

Our sector makes an incredible difference to the world, but it’s shrouded in unhelpful traditions, outdated measures of impact and barriers to participation. That’s why since we launched our Real Impact Manifesto in 2018, we’ve been calling out problems in the sector and changing how we work. We’re seeing green shoots of progress, but significant change will require the entire sector to commit and act.

So, here in 2022, we’re relaunching our Real Impact Manifesto and asking you to join us in working towards a fairer, more equitable environment where research can have a real-world impact and those within it can reach their full potential. We outline six commitments where we can work together for change – will you join us?

Pledge your support

Are you in?

Imagine if the entire research community committed to meaningful impact. Really committed, beyond just ‘words’. What difference could it make to our world? Could it end problems like poverty, hunger and inequality at a time when the gaps are widening and the need for action never more important? Yes, we believe it could, and that’s why three years ago we made real impact our goal.

Together with our partners, we are challenging simplistic and outdated approaches to research impact, driving impact literacy and helping our communities overcome barriers to impact. We’re progressing, but our biggest barrier to real impact is one of recognition. And it makes us wonder, does the academy really want change? And if so, how can we help?

We believe publishers are well placed to help the academy break links with old measures of impact and enjoy a fairer, more equitable environment for research to thrive; but we are just one voice

It’s going to take a collective effort to solve the challenges of social science research in a global context and deliver sectoral change.

Tony Roche, Chief Executive, Emerald Publishing

Our six commitments

Below are our six commitments that together we must tackle. Open each commitment to see what's happening in this area. 

Are you in? Pledge your support.

Champion alternatives to traditional academic metrics & rewards

As a DORA signatory we are supporting initiatives that promote a fair and holistic way to evaluate research such as the SCOPE Framework for Research Evaluation.

Find new formats & channels to disseminate research to reach a wider audience

Read the views of students, early career researchers and the established academic research community from across the globe on whether research output is fit for the future.

Co-design services that help researchers & research managers develop healthy practice

Impact Services is a range of services you can tap into to help navigate your path to impact and ultimately achieve better research outcomes for you and your institution.

Highlight & reward examples of research that is driving real change

Our Real Impact Awards celebrate those in the research community who go above and beyond to make a difference.

Identifying, highlighting and rewarding the invisible research outputs and roles that are vital to research via the Hidden Ref competition.

Develop more equitable & accessible ways to publish research

Take a look at Emerald Open Research – a platform for fast author-led publication and open peer review. 

Build partnerships & networks, both informal & formal, which support researchers

Emerald Engage is a community for those involved in research. It’s a place where you can grow your network, connect with industry leaders from around the world and debate the things that matter in a trusted and valued environment.


Download a PDF of our manifesto

List of signatories

Thank you to the following individuals and organisations that have already pledged their support to working together to drive change. 

  • Duraid Fadhil Ahmed, Tikrit University, Iraq
  • Alison Anderson, University of Plymouth, UK
  • Julie Bayley, University of Lincoln, UK
  • Surendran Cherukodan, Cochin University of Science and Technology, India
  • Louis Coiffait-Gunn, Senior Policy Advisor, UK Government
  • Jerry Davis, Gilbert & Ruth Whitaker Professor of Management and Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan, USA
  • Alima Dostiyarova, KIMEP University, Kazakhstan
  • Guilherme Frederico, Federal University of Paraná - UFPR, Brazil
  • Johanna Gummerus, Hanken School of Economics, Finland
  • Simon Hettrick, Hidden REF, UK
  • Chris Hewson, Research Impact Manager, University of York, UK
  • Olawale Ismail, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  • Ken Knight, Research Impact Manager, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Australia
  • Zana Khan, NHS, UK
  • Ali Kazemi, Kish Azad University, Islamic Republic Of Iran
  • Amy Koerber, Texas Tech University, USA
  • Emma Leifler, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Aliaa Gamal Mahmoud Mostafa, The Agriculture Research Center, Egypt
  • Yasir Hayat Mughal, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia
  • Irina Neganova, Hanken School of Economics, Finland
  • Richard Oloruntoba, Curtin University, Australia
  • Ian Phau, Curtin University, Australia
  • Lukman Raimi, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
  • Tony Roche, CEO, Emerald Publishing
  • Amir Raki, Alliance Manchester Business School, UK
  • Mark Rosenbaum, Hawaii Pacific University, College of Business, USA
  • Deborah Scott, University of Chester, UK
  • Lara Skelly, Open Research Manager for Data and Methods at Loughborough University, UK
  • Ferdi Nazirun Sijabat, Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Sabang (Sabang College of Economics), Indonesia
  • Sidra Shan, International Islamic University, Pakistan
  • G. Michael Stathis, Southern Utah University, USA
  • Faith Welch, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Derek Smith, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Wu Zhonghe, National University, USA
  • Vicky Williams, Group CEO, Emerald Group, UK
  • Sharon Zivkovic, Adjunct Research Associate, University of South Australia, Founder and CEO of Community Capacity Builders and the Cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Wicked Lab
  • Mohsin Zahid, Neuron Solutions, Pakistan

Hear others' perspectives


Have we 'hit a wall' on pushing for broader metrics?

Dr Faith Welch, Research Impact Manager at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Steve Lodge, Head of Services at Emerald Publishing, discuss what we are seeing in the sector and where we should go from here.…

Impact Advisory Board role

Implemented in 2018, Emerald’s Impact Advisory Board was established to support the research community and help us play a key role in furthering the impact agenda. The Board includes representatives from all areas of the research community, who contribute their understanding and perspectives to foster diverse and varying discussions on the impact debate.

Our refreshed Manifesto has been developed in partnership with our Impact Advisory Board and reflects their views of the major blockers to sectoral change.

Lara Skelly is the Open Research Manager for Data and Methods at Loughborough University, UK and formally the Research Manager at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa and Programme Head of USB’s PhD in Business Management and Administration. With vast experience in library and information science too, Lara has a proven track record of delivering robust research support to researchers at all levels.

Louis Coiffait-Gunn is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Open Innovation Team for the UK Government. Louis has a wealth of professional experience in policy, education and research with previous roles including London Metropolitan University, Wonkhe and Reform Think Tank.

Chris Hewson is Research Impact Manager in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of York, UK. Chris is an experienced knowledge exchange professional, whose role covers pre and post-award support for research impact, alongside the management of policy and business engagement programmes across the SHAPE agenda.

Yvonne Nobis is Head of Science Information Services at the University of Cambridge, UK. Yvonne has a wealth of experience in data management, data science, policy, knowledge transfer and research analysis.

Sharon Zivkovic is a scholar-practitioner. Her roles include Adjunct Research Associate at the University of South Australia, Founder and CEO of Community Capacity Builders and the Cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at Wicked Lab. She is also the Co-chair of Catalyst 2030’s Social Entrepreneurial Scholar Practitioner Group.

Ken Knight is a Research Impact Manager at Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia. Ken is a practice specialist and educator in the fields of knowledge translation, engagement and research impact and has over a decade of professional experience in research, health and government.

Scott Taylor is Head of Research Services and the Office for Open Research at the University of Manchester, UK. Scott has been involved in the development of scholarly communication services at Manchester since 2008 and currently leads the University's Open Research Programme.

Jerry Davis is the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration at the Ross School of Business and Professor of Sociology, The University of Michigan, USA. Jerry has published widely in management, sociology, and finance and his research is broadly concerned with the corporation as a social and economic vehicle.


More about our role

It behoves all stakeholders to look at the ways we can contribute to making research more accessible and learning fit for the next generation of students.

At Emerald, we've made a commitment to drive research impact and are making progress but there is still work ahead. Out impact roadmap shows how far we've travelled on this journey, and our intentions to support change.

Transcript of video is available on YouTube.

Pledge your support

Together we can help inform, develop, and inspire action towards advancing the impact agenda.

Join the shared movement by adding your name or institution to the support pledge here. We'll then add your name to the list of signatories, as well as keep you informed on how the campaign is progressing and how you can get involved in activities to move forward the Real Impact Manifesto goals.

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