By Elena Louder, Carina Wyborn, Christopher Cvitanovic and Angela T. Bednarek
What should you take into account in selecting among the many frameworks for evaluating research impact?
In our recent paper (Louder et al., 2021) we examined the epistemological foundations and assumptions of several frameworks and drew out their similarities and differences to help improve the evaluation of research impact. In doing so we identified four key principles or ‘rules of thumb’ to help guide the selection of an evaluation framework for application within a specific context.
1. Be clear about underlying assumptions of knowledge production and definitions of impact
Clarifying from the start how research activities are intended to achieve impact is an important pre-cursor to designing an evaluation. Furthermore, defining what you mean by impact is an important first step in selecting indicators to know if you’ve achieved it.