Research impact assessment — A new tool available to help

Thinking about how to assess your research’s impact? A new tool on doing just that — Assessing the Impact of Research — was recently unveiled by Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

I recommend reviewing this tool in its entirety. And, please note that there is something for every one here: researchers, communication experts, administrators, etc. Here are some highlights from one librarian’s perspective:

  • The “Strategies for Enhancing the Impact of Research” section has three focus areas:
    • Preparing for publication: This area outlines steps to consider taking before you publish an article. From consistently using the same variation of your name (i.e. Lynch, AE) in all your publications to having a very explicit statement about how your research may translate into the clinical setting, this area is a must read.
    • Dissemination: Submitting your article manuscript to a subject or institutional repository (e.g. PubMed Central) will help get the word out about your research. Consider publishing negative results so that others learn from your experience and don’t duplicate the study/hypothesis, etc. Create a research study web site in order to collocate your articles, presentations, and other published updates in one online space and be sure to have an area for patients and communities to learn what your study’s outcomes may mean for them. These three topics are just a few of the items discussed in this section.
    • Keeping track of your research: Sign up for ResearcherID or LinkedIn and include your publications, presentations, etc. Update your Scopus Author profile to make sure your published content is correctly associated with you and not someone else. Keep updated on your PLoS publication Article-Level Metrics, which goes far beyond who’s citing you in Web of Science and Scopus. Again, just a handful of great tips for tracking the use of your work and associating it with you as the author.
  • Think of the Reporting Template as a working document to be updated throughout a study’s life cycle. The template contains a “Documented Evidence” column to help researchers track their study’s impact. The other two columns cover the “Indicators” and “Examples” of research outputs and activities.

Interested in discussing this tool? Contact me (alynch@coh.org; x60520). Interested in filling out the Reporting Template for your research study(ies)? Let me know…because I’d be glad to help you get started and the creators of the tool (Cathy Sarli and Kristi Holmes) would like to know too.

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