Evaluating the non-academic impact of academic research: Design considerations

In this journal article, Andrew Gunn (University of Leeds) and Michael Mintrom (ANZSOG/Monash University ) explore how evaluation of non-academic research impact can measure impact effectively without undermining academic freedom and research excellence. This article is published in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management behind a paywall, however a summary published in the ANZSOG blog has been republished on BetterEvaluation with permission. 
This resource and the following information was contributed to BetterEvaluation by Sophie Yates, ANZSOG.

Authors and their affiliation

Andrew Gunn (School of Education, University of Leeds) and Michael Mintrom (Professor of Public Sector Management, ANZSOG/Monash University​)

Year of publication

2016

Type of resource

Discussion paper

Key features

Efforts to understand and evaluate research impact are gaining prominence around the world, but tracing the line of influence from one specific research project to a well-defined non-academic impact is difficult work. 

This recent article by Andrew Gunn and Michael Mintrom addresses how evaluation of non-academic research impact can promote impact without undermining academic freedom and research excellence. 

The authors offer various mechanisms for public universities to consider when attempting to understand and assess the impact that academic research can have – both inside and outside the academy. 

Gunn and Mintrom conclude that non-academic impact should be selectively promoted and evaluated. This is how greater gains from research will be best captured.

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Commissioners/managers of evaluation;
  • Evaluators;
  • Those involved in evaluation capacity strengthening;
  • Other – Individual researchers and university leaders

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This resource will be used by people in our organisation (ANZSOG) to expand and capture the impact that our research has. As our organisation offers research grants, it will be particularly insightful when considering and assessing research proposals.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

This article takes stock of the contemporary challenges facing the research impact agenda. It offers innovative and useful ways forward and is useful for anyone seriously considering ways to expand and understand the broader impact that academic research can have. It is highly relevant to government decision-makers and university leaders.

Related Blog

 The balancing act of research impact

This guest post by discusses the key points of a recent paper by ANZSOG's Prof Michael Mintrom (with co-author Dr Andrew Gunn) 'Evaluating the non-academic impact of academic research: Design considerations'. This post was originally posted on the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) blog and has been republished with ANZSOG's permission. ​

Source

Gunn, A. & Mintrom, M. (2016). 'Evaluating the non-academic impact of academic research: Design considerations'. In Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management (Vol 39, Issue 1). Pp. 20-30. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1360080X.2016.1254429

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Research Fellow, Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Melbourne, Australia.

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