The overarching goal of any research is to find answers that change how an aspect of life is seen or performed. Research tracks down areas of need and evaluates data to solve the questions that can improve society or knowledge in general. The impact of a specific research experiment is used to determine a scholar’s reputation, so when a particular journal or article makes a significant difference, the scholar behind the work is credited with being impactful.
An impactful designation has a wide range of benefits that come with it. Funders are more likely to source a scholar’s work, institutions are more apt to assign perks like promotions and tenure tracks, and the scholar is usually able to focus more on research and less on instructional activities. With so many advantages to the label of an impactful scholar, it’s important that there is a commonly used methodology to track the digital impact of research and apply unbiased ratings to an academic’s work.
Academic, Societal, and Economic Impact Potential
All attempts at creating an impact are not the same, but they all have value. It takes research work of every kind to keep a society functioning efficiently and prepare the world on national and global levels for the future.
Academic impact includes any research that contributes to understanding and advancing theories, practices including the scientific method, and application of such knowledge across the disciplines in institutions and beyond.
Economic and societal impacts occur when research contributes to either the economy or society in ways that benefit an individual, group, organization, or nation. These impacts can be instrumental, influencing policy development or legislation, changing behaviors, and creating practices and services. They can be conceptual, in which they help generate a greater understanding of those policy issues and aid in conflict resolution. Or they can be capacity building and enhance skill development on either a technical or personal level, or both.
Methods Used to Track Impact
Data monitoring methods are continually evolving and improving. Institutions use the results of the data to drive decisions in areas such as:
● Planning for infrastructure implementations and changes
● Determining activities that need to be promoted or revamped regarding data management and sharing policies
● Dataset ideas, archives, and collection creations
● Advising funders and ensuring the funding requirements are met
These crucial aspects of all institutions ensure that many methods are implemented. While there is no universal preference, accepted forms of digital impact tracking include:
● Citation indicator observation and analysis
● Page view and download counts
● Social media forum discussions
● References in accepted academic forums
● Peer review processes
Combining these methods together gives a bigger picture of the research in question.
Strategies to Enhance Digital Impact
A lot is riding on your ability to make an impact with your research efforts. Much of this relies on your work itself, but some of it is just a matter of tweaking your paper to maximize its digital presence through search engine optimization strategies.
Adding small metadata tools is an easy way to get your paper seen by a wider audience and it isn’t a difficult practice. These little additions, included before you publish your paper, will quickly become a regular part of your work and help ensure your research is seen by more readers.
● Use a short, succinct title that explains what your work covers so readers see at a glance what your paper offers and so web crawlers can send readers to your paper.
● Create a meta description that summarizes your paper. There is always a blurb of your work that shows up on the search engine results under your title. By taking control of what is seen, you can decide what content the readers receive.
● Optimize your graphics by using alt text. Charts, tables, images, and graphs are read like a keyword by the web crawlers. When you label them, it makes it easier for the automated processes to find your work in a key image search.
● Always use headers to break up your paper. Of course, you’re using subsections, but make sure the titles of those sections are designated with the “header” option, not just a change in font and sizes.
The digital impact of your paper correlates to your own reputation. These little adjustments before publishing can optimize how well your work is picked up in search engines and shared with readers.
Use Impactio to Optimize Your Paper
Whether you want to optimize your paper or track the digital impact of it, Impactio is there to get the job done. The all-in-one platform designed especially for academic experts, Impactio makes it simple to drag and drop your text into premade layouts, create headers, use alt text features to label your graphics, and optimize your work for an easy transition into the digital impact world.