Challenging Approaches and Supporting Impact Literacy to Close the Research-Practice Gap

An example of driving impact literacy in the research sector to challenge outdated incentives and make a difference in policy and practice

Julie Bayley
University of Lincoln

David Phipps
York University

Gino Erispe
Emerald Publishing

Michael Groth
Emerald Publishing

Background and objectives of the case
For over 50 years, research impact has sat at the heart of Emerald’s business. Emerald’s core ethos is making a difference through research, and we are proud of our heritage supporting the communication of research for policy and practice.

With a sector increasingly full of pressure and expectation, we recognise the challenges faced by colleagues in connecting research to impact. We also recognise that traditional markers of influence such as citations are not sufficient to tell the story of impact. We know from surveys and feedback from our authors all over the world that the system is not working for them, the academy at large, or wider society. In one recent survey of 1,600 Emerald authors, 97% said they believe their research has relevance outside academia, but only 36% said they felt incentivized to engage with non-academics.

Emerald feels strongly that we have a key role and responsibility in not only supporting the impact agenda, but also in challenging outdated approaches to measuring e¬ffects. Therefore, we are leading the publishing charge towards meaningful impact. We will continue to work with our global author network to publish research which makes a di¬fference, and invest further in the research community to support real world change.

Emerald has committed to:
• Support the community of practice to overcome barriers to impact, working in partnership with key agencies to strengthen connections between research and society
• Challenge simplistic and outdated approaches to impact, shifting beyond metrics and celebrating impact of all shapes and sizes
• Drive impact literacy in the research sector championing knowledge and skills development, and developing new tools and innovative approaches