3. Reponsible Impact (ReAct)

2016-2019 Sponsored by the The Obel Family Foundation.
PI David Budtz Pedersen, Birger Larsen, Marianne Lykke, Mikael Vetner

In this project we seek to develop and deploy a new taxonomy of research impact originating from the humanities and social sciences. The case material for the project is annotated real-time data harvested from registration of impact-oriented activities (knowledge dissemination, circulation and communication) by researchers at the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University.

For the first time in Denmark the project aims to clarify and enrich our understanding of impact emanating from the humanities by setting up a multi-dimensional and multi-scalable data infrastructure that allows annotation of a wide range of impact activities and societal engagement at the departmental level. Inspired by the UK Research Excellence Framework the project serves as an explorative platform that facilities engagement and dialogue with department staff in order to create sensible ‘metrics’ for the humanities (sometimes referred to as humetrics).

The real task for impact assessment in the humanities and social sciences is to start capturing some of the relational, dynamic ‘artifacts’ that originate from the research process and which do not always get captured in e.g. journal articles and hence journal-based metrics and reward systems. This may include academic community-building and knowledge sharing beyond text production such as organizing conferences, engaging citizens, producing audio-visual representations (video, film, podcasts) or co-producing theatre plays, health services, policy interventions, government advice or other forms of 'co-creation'.

Enriched by the collection of annotated meta-data about impact-oriented research activities, the project further aims to validate the context-sensitive and networked influence of researchers by setting up an ‘extended peer review’ panel. Throughout 2017-2018 the panel will oversee and assess a number of impact case studies emerging from the data providing input and evidence for further employment of impact assessment frameworks in Danish higher education and research.

Project website: http://react.aau.dk/