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Transcript of ALPSP talk
For ethical impactology
'The Metric Tide' (Wilsdon
, 2015), Leiden Manifesto (Hicks,
, 2015) recommend a balanced approach to assessing impact:
narratives and available robust metrics
Responsible use of metrics
For an ethical impactology
UK Research Councils
£3 billion per year
'Pathways to Impact'
Impact defined as ‘fostering global economic performance, and specifically the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom, increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy, and enhancing quality of life, health and creative output’ (RCUK, 2016)
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
£1.5 billion 2015/16
Impact criterion first introduced in 2014
Quality = 65%
Environment = 15%
Impact = 20%
Impact defined as ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’ (HEFCE, 2015)
Next REF no later than 2021; Impact = 25%?
…there will no doubt be widespread criticism of the “simple-minded” approach adopted, and work will start to “improve” the assessment of impact in the following REF. REF 2 will consequently be more elaborate, more burdensome and more time-consuming. It will also encourage more sophisticated game-playing.
(Martin, 2016, 17)
The rise of 'impactology'
the practice of assessing wider impacts, and the study of the practice of assessing wider impacts
impactologists - management, consultants, software, training
pressures to save time & money
metrics at the expense of more nuance and detail
REF2014 Impact: a world first but 'grudging support' for narrative approach (Oancea, 2016)
Perception of high opportunity costs
Academics weary of REF burden making metrics more attractive
(I + IF = M): Impactology + Impact Fatigue = Metricide
Best assessment practice = narratives & robust metrics
Promise of altmetrics and social media data
Narratives a craft industry; metrics for mass production (Martin, 2011)
Australia's RQF development: complex narratives replaced by:
plant breeders' rights
registered commercialization income
Impact aware culture
Innovation gone wrong?