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Emerald Publishing announces winners of the 2020 Real Impact Awards

23rd April 2021

Emerald Publishing has announced the winners of its third Real Impact Awards which celebrate commitment to impact by the global research community.

The 2020 awards received more than 100 high quality entries from researchers and institutions around the world. The judging panel, comprising experts in impact, knowledge exchange, research funding, library and scholarly communications, assessed the submissions based on the type of impact that entries committed to achieving, within three separate categories.

The 2020 award winners are:

Driving the Impact Agenda

Professor Divine Ahadzie from the Centre for Settlements Studies at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, for research in improving housing in Ghana. The housing project analysed the current housing crisis and used these findings to create awareness in the media to generate public interest and elevate the conversation around public housing into national discourse in the run up to Ghana’s General Election. The research was linked to SDG 3, 6 and 11.

Mobilising Research into Action

Celia Kitzinger, Honorary Professor at Cardiff University and Gill Loomes-Quinn, PhD student at The University of Leeds, for their Open Justice Court of Protection project. This project aimed to ensure that transparency and open justice is maintained and enhanced in the Court of Protection during COVID-19, therefore helping people access court hearings, especially vulnerable people. Since its launch in June 2020, the project’s website has attracted 42,000 visitors and the project has directly supported more than 200 members of the public to access court hearings.

Library Commitment to Impact

Srinivasula Rajeswari from the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research. The library at the institution has set up various tools and resources using researcher visibility tools to support impact in the broad sense. Including, subscribing to e-resources that align with the core area of research in the institution, arranging lectures and author workshops to educate the research scholar, students and faculty on the importance of scholarly communication and research assistance tools.

Alongside these categories, a panel of interdisciplinary research experts has chosen the CREATE team at Deakin Business School in Australia as the winner of the 2020 Interdisciplinary Research Award (IDR). The Deakin Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education aims to build knowledge and understanding of how best to support people from a refugee background best develop their careers by working closely with governmental and non-governmental organisations to develop practical solutions that support refugee integration in to the workplace.

The team at CREATE includes Alexander Newman, Karen Dunwoodie and Luke Macaulay. Judges of the IDR Award were particularly impressed with how The Deakin Centre addresses a particularly important global challenge in an innovative way with considerable long-term potential.

Tony Roche, Publishing and Strategic Relations Director at Emerald Publishing, said: “We understand the pressure that the research community is under to demonstrate the provable benefits of their research, beyond research and academic influence. Working with sector experts, Emerald is challenging outdated practices and driving impact literacy. Our awards programme is one of the many initiatives designed to recognise and celebrate the changemakers whose research creates impact around the world.

'Now in its third year, we are delighted to see the breadth of quality, international entries that are challenging the status quo and aligning research to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including many linked to Emerald’s research gateways.

'We remain resolutely committed to its goal of helping research to have an impact; real impact that influences thinking, changes policies and practice, and makes a positive difference to lives beyond academia.'

Since 2018, Emerald has launched the Real Impact Manifesto, mobilised community action through the Impact Advisory Board, become a signatory of DORA, worked with experts to co-create impact literacy resources and the Emerald Change Ready Report, relaunched Emerald Insight, and launched SDG Gateways on Emerald Open Research, to make content more discoverable.

Last year, Emerald continued this work by commissioning the Power of Diverse Voices, Global Inclusivity and Time for Change reports, launched a beta site to test new content forms and signed the UN SDG Publishers Compact, committing to publishing content that will help inform, develop and inspire action towards real change.

Alongside the winning entries, another two finalists of the Real Impact Awards – for Driving the Impact Agenda and Library Commitment - will also have their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by Emerald’s specialist editors. Each case study will form part of Emerald’s Real Impact Awards Showcase book, which will be awarded to every nominee featured.

Winners will also join a small virtual celebratory event and receive a certificate and physical award, as well as benefiting from further publicity across Emerald websites, social media and press.

The winner of the IDR Award will have the opportunity to publish their research Open Access in a relevant Emerald journal (subject to peer review) or on Emerald Open Research (free of charge). As well as time with Editage to produce a piece of content to make their research findings more accessible and support from the Emerald Marketing Team to get the research to people who can put it into action.

You can find out more about Emerald’s awards and our commitment to impactful research, by reading Emerald’s Impact Manifesto and getting involved with the debate on our Real Impact blog.



About Emerald:

Emerald Publishing provides a range of publishing services to help researchers tell their story in a meaningful and timely way, providing innovative tools and services to build confidence and capability in impactful research. As a proud signatory of DORA, Emerald is committed to establishing new pathways to impact, making research more accessible, and helping communities make decisions that change their world for the better. For over 50 years Emerald’s core purpose has been to champion fresh thinkers and help them make a difference so that little by little those in academia or in practice can unite to bring positive change in the real world. Emerald Publishing is delighted to be named Independent Publisher of the Year and Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year in the Independent Publishers Guild 2020 Independent Publishing Awards.

Notes on Emerald Publishing & usage during COVID-19

At present we are living in a difficult and uncertain time around the world, as we face the fight against COVID-19. Now, more than ever, people need quick and easy online access to the information we publish on Emerald Insight and the opportunities to share their research, so we are keen to ensure that all of our users have access to research, even if institutions are closed. To help with any issues, and keep people up to date with new information we launched our Customer Support Portal.

We have made research on COVID-19, the management of epidemics and pandemics, and supply chain management free for anyone to access and have also made this available with full text and data mining rights to PubMed Central and the World Health Organisation repository. We will continue to make relevant research freely available on this site.


Gemma Clulow
PR Manager
Emerald Publishing
[email protected]

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