Reconceptualising research impact: reflections on the real-world impact of research in an Australian context

Article


Doyle, Joanne. 2018. "Reconceptualising research impact: reflections on the real-world impact of research in an Australian context." Higher Education Research and Development. 37 (7), pp. 1366-1379. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1504005
Article Title

Reconceptualising research impact: reflections on the real-world impact of research in an Australian context

ERA Journal ID20348
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorDoyle, Joanne
Journal TitleHigher Education Research and Development
Journal Citation37 (7), pp. 1366-1379
Number of Pages14
Year2018
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0729-4360
1469-8366
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1504005
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07294360.2018.1504005
Abstract

A focus on research impact is influencing the way research is undertaken in Australian higher education institutions. Research activities are planned, funded, conducted, assessed and reported in a way that highlights the real-world impact of research on society. The contemporary prioritisation of research impact, beyond scholarly contribution, reflects a logic model approach to understanding impact that may not adequately reflect the entwined nature of how research achieves impact within and outside academia. This article presents the results of a study conducted with researchers in a regional Australian university to explore the lived experience of research impact. The findings suggest a new definition of research impact as the process whereby research knowledge makes a difference to the knowledge beneficiary. Reconceptualising research impact as a process presents an alternative perspective for explaining how research achieves real-world impact, and helps to address the limitations of logic model approaches. A process-orientation to understanding how research achieves impact acknowledges the indirect, intangible, unexpected and endless influences of research that may be difficult to anticipate and demonstrate.

Keywordsresearch; impact; research impact; Australia; higher education
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020399999. Other education not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

Submitted version made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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