Becoming a scholar in your field is packed with a lot of challenges, but the potential to impact a change in the world makes it a tempting role for many people. The high demands and increased competition mean that the life of a novice researcher is never easy or calm. In fact, many students seeking their Ph.D.s and new professors cite stress and episodes of depression as a common occurrence. So why do so many new students apply to universities annually, and so many scholars work so hard for their Ph.D.s?
The answer may be in the benefits that come with working diligently towards standing out from the competition and earning promotions and tenure. Once these goals are hit, scholars can then focus on things they’re passionate about rather than meeting and exceeding expectations of their superiors.
Tenure and promotions are crucial to a scholar’s career, and the way to these coveted positions is to create academic and societal impact through one’s research.
Advancing Your Career Through Impact
Academic careers have a variety of goals, requiring a wide array of skills and target goals. This diversity means that there isn’t just one way to determine whether a scholar is worthy of promotions or tenure. It’s an overall picture of their work, character, determination, and ability, which all are seen clearly when the scholar makes an impact through their research.
Determination of impact means that the work you submitted had a strong enough outcome that it was able to move beyond the immediate, short-term changes of the reader and their local surrounding to create a wider, long-term effect on society or academia.
In order for this to occur, the researcher had to work hard, show strong character traits, stay on track and determined through the length of the project, and have the ability and knowledge to get the job done and analyze the data thoroughly. All of these combined create the path for a scholar to advance their careers via the impact of their existing work.
Using Qualitative Measures to Determine Impact
Because of the importance of impact on a scholar’s career, it’s important to have a framework of guidelines that are used to measure what exactly impact means.
Part of a scholar’s reputation is based on their professional work, including the activities they do in their field beyond research. It also includes teaching others through volunteer work, instructional roles, and adjunct classroom experience. Scholarship beyond the level of peer-reviewed research and service at multiple institutional, local, regional, and international levels all create a better foundation on which an academic can build their career and fast track their tenure or promotion.
Showcasing your impressive leadership in teaching and educational areas, being innovative in your field and demonstrating expertise, and seeking out problems for investigation put you over and above the competition and in line for the coveted advancements in your career.
Still, these qualitative measures are only part of the picture. For impact to be determined, quantitative aspects apply, as well.
Quantitative Measurements of Impact
The Digital Era has brought major changes in how academic impact is measured. The ability to collect and analyze data on a global scale through artificial intelligence gathering changed how citation indicators and other measurements are implemented and used.
One of the newest and most widely accepted measurements of quantitative impact is the JIF, or Journal Impact Factor. Although it’s controversial, it’s the measurement that is used around the world almost universally.
The intent of the JIF was to assist libraries with determining which journals should be indexed and purchased, but it moved on significantly from there. Today, it’s used to assign measures of quality to journals via quantitative measures.
In fact, many institutions today have a requirement that the scholar must have a positive affiliation with JIF measurements in order to qualify for their advancements. The universities correlate JIF with markers of quality, noting that if the work is published in a journal with a positive impact factor, the work must, therefore, be impactful itself.
Additionally, other institutions associate an article with a high JIF rating as impactful and significant enough to warrant a higher level of reach and impact of the scholar applying for tenure or promotion. Some of these institutions even consider a scholar with a high JIF measurement to be associated with increased prestige and higher status or better reputation, since only the most prestigious of academic scholars would be published in the highest-ranking journals.
All of these characteristics and measurements combine together to make an impact in a scholar’s potential promotion or tenure.
On Track to Success With Impactio
Impactio can’t win you that tenure, but it can help you succeed along the way. The all-in-one platform gives expert scholars everything they need to publish their work, track its impact through citation indicators, and connect with a global community of peers in the Impactio network.
With Impactio, we make it easy for you to develop and publish impressive-looking PDF documents and web pages ready for your professional profile, so you can get back to doing everything you need to do to advance your career!