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The conception of the indicators and the type of expected impact, the unit of analysis and the time of evaluation are different, especially if we compare different fields of science, such as physics and chemistry, to psychology and political science.
One must consider that knowledge is an intangible resource and it is difficult to measure in social contexts. Time is an important variable in measuring the social impact of research. This evaluation intends to ensure the monitoring of the actions implemented and to confront them with the projected socioeconomic impacts. This complexity can be observed in various areas of knowledge, but it is even more striking in humanities and social sciences, in which the impacts are not easily verifiable, in contrast with other sciences.
Thus, the choice of methodology, indicators and data sources is crucial. One should also be cautious with the use of models. Under certain conditions, the evaluation systems can encourage certain behaviors and can promote an alignment of priorities to match the indicators European Comission, The "Frascati Family of Manuals", for example, includes manuals for standardization in the areas of research and development Frascati Manual , innovation Oslo Manual , human resources Camberra Manual and patents and technology, with the balance of payments taken as indicators of science and technology OECD, Such experiences are meaningful and could help identify lessons learned and points of attention related to measurement initiatives.
The United Kingdom has been applying evaluation systems for academic studies since The panel of experts measures the social impact and then evaluates the reach and significance of impacts on the economy, society or culture REF, Reach is understood as the extent and diversity of the communities, environments, individuals, organizations or any other beneficiaries who were affected by studies. Significance is understood in terms of the extent to which the research has enriched, influenced, informed or changed policies, opportunities, perspectives and practices of communities, individuals or organizations REF, , p.
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To assess social impact, the units of assessment are encouraged to submit case studies that demonstrate the impact on the beneficiaries of the research. The REF analyzes 36 units from different fields of knowledge. Clinical medicine, biological sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, law, sociology, education, history and philosophy are examples from the list of units analyzed. The units of assessment are grouped by membership in different fields of knowledge and are analyzed by specific panels, each with its own criteria and working methods.
Thus, the assessment of the research products and the impacts to be considered for evaluation are influenced by the characteristics of the field of knowledge assessed. Finland applied a system for evaluating the impact of academic research at the time of the creation of Aalto University. Research conducted by the organizations that comprised the university was evaluated. The assessment used the following indicators: popularized works, media visibility, external funding, cooperation with the public and private sectors, patents and start-up companies European Comission, , p.
The evaluation system involved several units of analysis, grouped into panels and comprising different disciplines, such as chemical and materials technology, management, economics, finance, architecture and arts, among others Aalto University, In Germany, the Council of Sciences and Humanities has been working since on a model that suggests the classification of institutions based on three dimensions: research, development of young researchers and the transfer of knowledge to society.
The Council is a body that advises the federal government and the state governments regarding the structure and development of higher education and research, and it consists of two committees, the scientific committee and the administrative committee, which gather in plenary meetings to make decisions, namely on the adoption of recommendations.
The scientific committee consists of 24 scientists from different fields and eight public figures, such as company directors.
To analyze the impact and effectiveness of research, the indicators proposed so far were the following: number of publications, number of patents, external funding, percentage of externally funded personnel, number of citations, guest researchers, self-reporting on interdisciplinarity and citations in other disciplines European Comission, , p. The evaluation used a five-point scale ranging from "not satisfactory" to "excellent".
For the category of transfer of knowledge to society, the following were used as indicators: number of patents, proceeds from licenses, funding by industry and companies, spin-offs and consultancy work European Comission, , p.
The efforts regarding the assessment of research conducted by the Council evolved incrementally, beginning with a pilot program for chemistry and sociology and expanding to electrical engineering, information technology and Anglo-American studies. The goal is to expand activities to all areas of knowledge, including the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, humanities and medicine.
In the Netherlands, the main institutions responsible for publicly funded research assess the social impact of research. A panel of experts that evaluates each institution and its research once every six years leads this work. Every three years, the institutions conduct self-assessments in preparation for the external assessment , , p.
The item that measures social impact is called "relevance", and it covers the scientific impact and the technical and socioeconomic impact of the research.
The panel of evaluators considers the relevance of a study with regard to the advancement, dissemination and implementation of knowledge. In this section, the foundations of the model and its dimensions will be shown. The proposed model is retrospective, since the analysis is based on completed studies, and it should be descriptive and qualitative, since the analysis should be based on descriptions of impacts in its various dimensions, although numerical indicators can be used in some cases.
The model is based on the principle that social sciences do not usually create products or patents but instead generate theories and practices that are appropriated and recreated by the users of knowledge. Business and Public Administration schools do not usually conduct laboratory studies, except for some very specific studies on marketing and organizational behavior.
These schools work directly with their research subjects - the organizations - and they can have significant impact, with consequences for the whole society. The social impact can occur inside or outside the institution.
The social impact within the institution refers, for example, to the contents of the research incorporated into the teaching material. The social impact outside the institution refers, for example, to the content of studies that are appropriated and used by companies, government agencies and social organizations.
Defining the units of analysis The second definition for a model of analysis for social impact refers to the units of analysis. A unit of analysis consists of a group of researchers who share a common field of research and a common knowledge base, performing articulated research projects over time.
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In business schools, the unit of analysis might be a line of research or an equivalent group or a set of lines of research or equivalent groups. Defining the dimensions and indicators of evaluation The third definition for a model of analysis for social impact refers to the dimensions and indicators of the evaluation.
Such indicators can be classified based on the social dimensions on which the research creates an impact, and the classification proposed by Santos can be used as a starting point. Note that such dimensions are not independent. They can interact so the impact of research on one dimension can produce effects on other dimensions. The dimensions and indicators of the proposed model are shown below. Impact on science The impact on science is currently measured using indicators of scientific production, with an emphasis on articles published in journals.
However, it is possible to expand the portfolio of indicators to include metrics that more comprehensively capture the impact on knowledge construction.
Therefore, the following indicators are suggested: Citations: citations or impact factors H index ; Publications: books, book chapters and articles in important scientific journals in the field; Presentations: presentations given at scientific events; Awards: awards received for scientific studies; Editorial participations: participations in editorial commissions and committees for the evaluation of scientific studies; and Institutional participations: participation as guest researcher in local and international institutions.
Impact on teaching and learning The impact on teaching refers to the transfer of knowledge originating from research to undergraduate and graduate students, who may subsequently apply this knowledge in their own activities. In this case, the following indicators are suggested: Publications: textbooks used or adopted by educational institutions, publications on topics related to teaching and learning disseminated in scientific or specialized journals; Pedagogical resources: dynamics, games and software developed for didactic use; and Cases: numbers of cases developed for didactic use.
Impact on public policy The impact on public policy refers to the possibility of a study to influence the political agenda, providing information to facilitate the decision-making of actors in the political arena or supporting the development of public policies and guidelines. This dimension relates more strongly to Public Administration programs.
In this case, the following indicators are suggested: Analyses: reports, opinions and other documents prepared to support the analysis or formulation of public policies; Participation: conduction of activities as consultant, advisor or expert in working groups and on committees focused on the analysis or formulation of public policies; Events: the organization and implementation of events that mobilize opinion and decision makers; and Recognition: indicators of public recognition of the contribution on the analysis or formulation of public policies.
Impact on innovation The impact on innovation refers to studies that result in the commercialization of new products and procedures Santos, , p. In the field of administration, specifically, innovation could be related to new business models, new solutions and new managerial processes.
In this case, the following indicators are suggested: Models: management tools and methods developed and adopted by public, private and social organizations; External funding: resources from external sources intended to finance innovative projects; and Recognition: indicators of public recognition of the contribution given to creating innovations.The Business Schools conduct their own admission tests instead. Note: Some formats for select books require VIP paid membership.
This would be a first step in redirecting research efforts to generate greater social impact. How to Download the Full-Text of an ebook When downloading the full-text of an ebook, you are borrowing the ebook. Thus, the assessment of the research products and the impacts to be considered for evaluation are influenced by the characteristics of the field of knowledge assessed.
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