Friday, June 24, 2011

[EQ] Maximizing the Impacts of your Research: A Handbook for Social Scientists

Maximizing the Impacts of your Research:
A Handbook for Social Scientists

LSE Public Policy Group

Available online PDF [298p.] at:


“……….For the past year a team of academics based at the London School of Economics, the University of Leeds and Imperial College London have been working on the Impact of Social Sciences project aimed at developing precise methods for measuring and evaluating the impact of research in the public sphere. We believe our data will be of interest to all UK universities to better capture and track the impacts of their social science research and applications work.


Part of our task is to develop guidance for colleagues interested in this field. In the past, there has been no one source of systematic advice on how to maximize the academic impacts of your research in terms of citations and other measures of influence. And almost no sources at all have helped researchers to achieve greater visibility and impacts with audiences outside the university. Instead researchers have had to rely on informal knowledge and picking up random hints and tips here and there from colleagues, and from their own personal experience.

This Handbook remedies this key gap and, we hope, will help researchers achieving a more professional and focused approach to their research from the outset. It provides a large menu of sound and evidence-based advice and guidance on how to ensure that your work achieves its maximum visibility and influence with both academic and external audiences. As with any menu, readers need to pick and choose the elements that are relevant for them. We provide detailed information on what constitutes good practice in expanding the impact of social science research. We also survey a wide range of new developments, new tools and new techniques that can help make sense of a rapidly changing field………….”



Executive Summary

Introduction What are research impacts


Chapter 1 What shapes the citing of academic publications?

1.1 Variations in citations rates across disciplines

1.2 Academic careers and the accumulation of citations

1.3 Career trajectories and the development of capabilities and publications.

Chapter 2 Knowing your strengths: using citation tracking systems

2.1 How distinctive is your author name?

2.2 Orthodox citation-tracking systems

2.3 Internet-based citation-tracking systems

2.4 Comparing conventional and internet citations tracking systems

Chapter 3 Key measures of academic influence

3.1 Assessing how well an author is cited

3.2 Assessing how far journals and books are cited

3.3 Who cites a little or a lot: Hub and authority patterns

Chapter 4 Getting better cited

4.1 Writing informative titles, abstracts and book blurbs

4.2 The issues around self-citation

4.3 Working with co-authors and research teams



Chapter 5 The origins and patterning of external research impacts

5.1 Types of scholarship within disciplines and external impacts

5.2 The role of joined-up scholarship

5.3 Understanding the impacts interface

5.4 How far do academics and researchers undertake activities likely to generate external impacts?

Chapter 6 Is there an impacts gap from academic work to external impacts? How might it have arisen? How might it be reduced?
Chapter 7 Understanding how researchers achieve external impacts

Chapter 8 Understanding, tracking and comparing external impacts for organizations

9.1 Developing an impacts file for individual academics

9.2 Reappraising events programmes

9.3 Building improved management of ‘customer relationships’

9. 4 Moving some version of all closed-web published research onto the open web

9.5 Improving professional communication: starting multi-author blogs

9.6 Working better in networks

Methodological Annex: the PPG dataset



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