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Welcome to the Impact Conversation

We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences and concerns about impact and its measurement. Comment below or write us at info@socialscience space.com

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Impact in Action: Home in the Remaking

Being at the intersection of two or more cultures and confronting new cultural codes such as values, symbols, lifestyles or products, immigrants may feel comfort and estrangement concurrently and this can result in a conflict of their individual and social identities.

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Free Essay Collection Examines State of Open Data

By offering a broad overview of the open data movement’s first 10 years, the editors of a recent collection of essays hope to provide an account that helps practitioners, policy-makers, community advocates, and anyone else in the open data movement, to progress the movement over the next 10 years…

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Coherence Front to Back Key to Usable Impact Statements

UK Research and Innovation, Britain’s main research funding body, is scrapping separate impact sections from all grant applications. Paul Benneworth and Julia Olmos Peñuela argue how impact statements can produce meaningful statements of the potential future impact of research and set out a framework for assessing these claims.

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We Asked for Impactful Social Science. The World Responded

Our debut writing contest for impactful social and behavioral research drew entries from around the globe, both institutionally and where fieldwork occurred. With entries ranging from Albania to New Zealand, we saw no lack of desire from practicing researchers to share the exciting news that their work matters in “real life.”

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Assessing Australia’s Poor Record of Impact Assessment

Over the years, Australia has had a confused relationship with the impact agenda, with much of this grounded in the vagaries of government. When the idea of a national exercise to evaluate research was first touted in the form of the Research Quality Framework, the focus was to be on both quality and…

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How Bibliometrics Incentivize Self-Citation

Using bibliometrics to measure and assess researchers has become increasingly common, but does implementing these policies therefore devalue the metrics they are based on? Here researchers present evidence from a study of Italian researchers revealing how the introduction of bibliometric targets has changed the way Italian academics cite and use the work of their colleagues.

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Understanding The Most Widely Used Occupational Therapy Measure

Since its debut in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy in 1990, the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure has been adopted by, more than 40 countries across healthcare professions, and as such is the most widely used occupational therapy measure in the world. The article has received 490 citations according to CrossRef and has been cited, according to Google Scholar, 843 times.

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Book Review: Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher

Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher presents chapters that reflect on the experiences that ‘early career researchers’ have had in relation to research impact. The collection is not a manual or textbook on how to achieve impact, but instead presents different voices on how researchers experience and react to the demand for impact.

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SSHRC Impact Awards Honor Expanders of Access, Citizenship

Earlier this month, Ted Hewitt, the president of Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council, presented the 2019 SSHRC Impact Awards to gold medal winner Will Kymlicka and four other notables at a ceremony in Ottawa.

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Nominate a Distinguished Social Scientist for SAGE-CASBS Award

Nominations to honor an individual whose work has advanced the role of the social and behavioral sciences in enriching and enhancing public policy and good governance are being taken now. The honoree will join luminaries such as William Julius Wilson and Daniel Kahneman as recipient of the SAGE-CASBS Award, sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and SAGE Publishing.

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Help Us Write a Book About Research Impact

Benedikt Fecher and Sascha Friesike present the first chapter of a work in progress and invite readers to contribute to a larger collaborative writing project seeking to reframe the way we currently think about research impact.

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Rupert Brown on Henri Tajfel

Rupert Brown, the biographer of Henri Tajfel, talks about the pioneering explorer of prejudice in this Social Science Bites podcast. Brown reviews the roots of Tajfel’s research arising from the Holocaust, and the current repercussions of Tajfel’s personal misdeeds.

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A Pioneer of Gender Politics: Vicky Randall, 1945-2019

Vicky Randall, a political scientist whose research into how marginalized populations – such as women, the aged, and those outside the First World – can and do interact in politics, died on November 22. The emeritus professor of government at Essex University was 74.

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Opportunity: COSSA Seeking Nominations for 2020 Impact Award

COSSA is now seeking nominations for the 2020 COSSA Public Impact Award. If you know of individuals, groups, or organizations that are using social and behavioral science research to affect real change in society, consider nominating them!

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Analysis: Indonesia Needs Quality Research to Inform Policy-Making

Our study, Doing Research Assessment, shows Indonesian policy-making is predominantly informed by research with poor theoretical engagement, with no strong tradition of peer review and with legal threats to academic freedom.

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Why Social Science? Because It Can Improve the Lives of Those Who Serve Our Country

While considerations of the impact of science and the military often focuses on weaponry, social science has also contributed to the lives of the warriors themselves. Here, Leanne Knobloch and Steven Wilson outline four specific contributions on this Veterans’ Day.

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U.S. Army medical researchers take part in World Malaria Day

To Err Is Human, To Impact Divine

Looking back on its most impactful articles of the last 20 years, the American Journal of Medical Quality says, “we can appreciate the advances we have made. … As much as these articles reflect the progress we have made, there is still a great deal of work to be done.’

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Impact Requires Breadth and Ideas, Not Tick Boxes

As part of their impact agenda, universities increasingly promote and train academics to carry out research collaborations across disciplines and with non-academic partners. While this can be impactful, Helen B. Woods argues that attempts to direct research in this way can produce inauthentic collaboration, and suggests an ideas-led approach.

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Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth: Economics Can Save Lives

“Many people die without getting a transplant because there aren’t enough organs for the people who need them, living donor organs included. Sometimes, you might love someone enough to give him a kidney but you can’t give a kidney to the person you love, because kidneys have to be very well-matched. Kidney exchange is a way of getting some transplants done, even when patients and their donors are not well matched.”

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A Reformer of Criminal Justice: Joan Petersilia, 1951-2019

Remembering criminologist Joan Petersilia who spent her career examining the agencies that conduct U.S. criminal justice, and whose solidly evidence-based work was a major influence in affecting corrections and sentencing reforms.

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Philosopher of Psychology: Rom Harré, 1927-2019

Rom Harré, a philosopher deeply engaged in critically examining the attributes and vulnerabilities of the social sciences, and who was both an early computational researcher and an incredibly prolific academic author, died October 17 at age 91.

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Economics Nobel 2019: Why Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer Won

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 (commonly known as the Nobel Prize for Economics) has been awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Through the award, the Nobel committee recognized both the significance of development economics in the world today and the innovative approaches developed by these three economists.

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Research on Research

With the advent of the new Research on Research Institute, our Robert Dingwall notes that while research on research fills a gap in the world of knowledge. However, it is important not to confuse it with the research enterprise itself or to assume that this will benefit from being made so planned, rational and evidence-based that the result is to squeeze innovation out of the system.

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We’re Inviting You to Share Your Story of Impact

As part of a SAGE project to demonstrate, measure and promote this impact, we’re looking for short write-ups from members of the social science community that we can share widely to make the case that our disciplines routinely provide knowledge that can be used to improve the human condition.

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Evidence Week: My Journey to the UK Parliament

Oscar Williams recounts his experience traveling to the Houses of Parliament with Sense about Science’s “Evidence Week” initiative.

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