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Research Impact: Citations and Metrics

This guide outlines tools and strategies to help you discover the impact of your research.

What is Research Impact?

Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia (Australian Research Council, 2022).

Australian Research Council. (2022). Research Impact Principles and Framework.

Impact Measurement Principles

A working group consisting of a number of Australian organisations and institutes including CSIRO, developed the following research impact principles:

  • Acknowledge that excellent research underpins impact.
  • Promote understanding through use of common language and terms associated with research impact.
  • Respect the diversity in research disciplines/sectors in demonstrating research impact.
  • Cooperate in developing a set of common, cost effective and efficient parameters for data collection and reporting.
  • Adopt a consultative approach with stakeholders in regards to implementing impact reporting in support of future research investments.
  • Encourage, recognise and reward positive behaviour in planning, monitoring and evaluating research impact (Australian Research Council, 2022).

The Research Impact Pathway table supports the Impact Measurement Principles and "provides high level examples from the research pipeline and indicates where they would normally sit on the pathway to impact" (Australian Research Council, 2022).

You may wish to consider including examples that represent all of the columns below when demonstrating the impact of your research.

Table illustrating the pathway from research inputs through activities and outputs to impact outcomes and benefits

Australian Research Council. (2022). Research Impact Principles and Framework.