Welcome to the Impact Conversation

This collection of articles highlights the of social and behavioral science research, and interrogates the metrics by which this impact is measured.

We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences and concerns about research impact and its measurement. Join the conversation using #SocialScienceImpact, comment on the articles below, or send us your thoughts at info@socialsciencespace.com.

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‘Organization Studies’ Seeks to Award Impactful Student Papers

The Organization Studies and SAGE Student Paper Impact Award is awarded annually to reward post-graduate students who have written a paper that has generated considerable societal impact.

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Social Scientists Should Take a Gander at Golden Goose Award

The annual award ceremony for the Golden Goose Award will take place on September 14, 2022, starting at 6:30 p.m. […]

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Mercury Project Names First Cohort to Fight Health Misinformation and Increase Vaccine Uptake

Through the SSRC’s Mercury Project, a first cohort of 12 teams from 17 countries is tasked with researching locally tailored solutions on how bad health information spreads, how to combat it, how to build stronger information systems, and how to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates.

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Paper on Showing Significance Proves Very Significant Decade Later

An academic paper that asserts you can present nearly any research finding as significant would be widely read and cited has received more that 4,000 citations since it was published in 2011.

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Whither Nudge? The Debate Itself Offers Lessons on the Influence of Social Science

The story of the book ‘Nudge’ offers insights into what can happen when research has an unpredictably large impact in the world of politics and policy

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The Gender Banter: Implications of Not Practicing What We Preach

“When you educate a man, you educate a person, but when you educate a woman, you educate an entire generation.” The same applies to empowering women to find their footing in organized employment.

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Drawing of original mechanical Turk

Paper on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Proves a Durable Article

A 2011 paper on Amazon’s then-new and innovative Mechanical Turk, which among other things crowdsources prospective participants for social and behavioral research via an online marketplace, has garnered 7,500 citations in the subsequent decade.

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Unpacking Impact 

One reason that many social scientists care about impact is that they see in social science the promise of and a path for knowledge – data, analysis, concepts – shaping the world they want to make. 

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Paper on Danish National Patient Register Keeps on Giving After 10 Years

A paper looking at the Danish National Patient Register has proved one of the most cited papers published by SAGE in 2011.

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What Ethnographers Have Learned from People Who Use Drugs

Can ethnography, long characterized as a lower tier of evidence in studying drug use, find things other approaches miss?

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Pathways to Foster Employee Engagement Towards Sustainability

How can organizations get their members to engage in sustainability practices? The authors outlines several mechanisms.

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On Measuring What We Value 

If traditional filters of prestige are themselves steeped in a set of tacit values that may no longer adequately respect the modes of labor (or the laborers themselves), then when better to step back for a moment to ask what we are counting — and why?

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The Journal Citation Reports 2022 Are Out. What Do They Mean for Sociology?

One way or another, the Journal Citation Reports today play an outsized role in determining whose careers thrive and whose careers whither and which journals flourish or fade away.

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Emancipating Women 

In this post, Holly Slay Ferraro, an associate professor in the Villanova School of Business and Academic Director for DEI […]

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A Time and Space for Climate Change in Business and Society Research

Most academic research on climate change at the nexus of business and society supports a view that the best agenda is enlightened business-as-usual. The authors suggest real progress needs to account for the flow of time and primacy of place.

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The $20 Blender Dilemma: How Different Data Can Create the Perfect Mix  

Not one single metric can encapsulate the importance of a field, notes Digital Science’s Mike Taylor, and in fields where broader uptake is slower, this is especially true.

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Enhancing the Role of Local Input for Measuring Value

Organization studies professor Laura Rovelli, one of the advisory board members for the Declaration on Research Assessment, or DORA, discusses some of the components of impact beyond citation count and how we can harness those components.

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The Invisible Challenges ‘Foreign’ Authors Must Face

‘Scholars from the periphery’ often pay a price — unintentional but no less real — for their geography. In this […]

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Impact ≠ Impact ≠ Impact 

In this second response to Ziyad Marar’s thought piece “On Measuring Social Science Impact” from Organizational Studies, Anne-Wil Harzing, professor of international management and staff development lead at Middlesex University Business School, sets the stage for further discussion by defining impact in terms of progressing scientific knowledge, developing critical thinking, and addressing societal problems. 

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Impact: Who Decides? 

In this first response to Ziyad Marar’s thought piece “On Measuring Social Science Impact,” professor Sue Fletcher-Watson, who represents a field where the direct purpose is to improve the quality of life for a group of individuals, shares why current metrics fall short and what we can do about it.

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On Measuring Social Science Impact: An Excerpt and Responses

The following essay by Ziyad Marar is adapted from “On Measuring Social Science Impact,” published in the journal Organization Studies. To […]

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Why Social Science? Because Changing Behavior is Essential to Addressing Climate Change

The challenge of climate change is enormous and requires an all-of-science effort. Psychologists must be part of the solution.

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The Perils of Measuring Performance, Inside and Outside Academia

Quantification can reformulate something as complex and multidimensional as teaching into a one-dimensional score. And such a score gives the possessor a sense of control and understanding. But, given the implications of quantification, this is an illusion.

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Connecting Social Science And Policy: A View from Nigeria

Good social science research has ultimate social relevance. In Nigeria, however, the authors’ study shows that research evidence and policies are disconnected.

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Connecting Academia and Civil Society: Walking an Impact Tightrope

For researchers in civil society organizations publishing and collaborating with academics on mutually beneficial projects is uncommon. Oxfam’s Franziska Mager discusses the barriers and benefits to research that brings together charities and academia and how this reflects different valuations of impact.

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