Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK, currently at the Society for Academic Primary Care annual conference
Measuring research impact fascinates academics and editors alike. We are all searching for the optimum metric to reflect research quality. Most of us are familiar with impact factors, citations and other individual measures like the h-index. But, what if your academic esteem and departmental funding depended on external assessment? In a mini symposium at the Society of Primary Care meeting in Oxford, entitled “ How can research impact be measured?” Professor Paul Little told us about the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK which is set up to measure the value of research in a national and international context on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council.
The REF has gone through a number of iterations but the key factor on this occasion, was that while output remains the dominant influence, “impact” was the new driver. ...continue reading
Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
Energised, refreshed, and inspired. The National Institute of Health Research, School for Primary Care Research annual research showcase meeting in Oxford brought together senior academics, key opinion leaders and young researchers from the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Keele, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and UCL. But, unlike many academic conferences, the focus wasn’t just on scholarly content alone, but under the wider theme of “Promoting excellence and impact”.
Trisha Greenhalgh, currently professor of primary care at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry but soon to move to Oxford, gave the keynote address, entirely appropriate given her academic title as Dean for Research Impact. Her main message was that research must make a difference and that assessing the impact of one’s work is important at both ends of the research process from grant acquisition to dissemination and evaluation. ...continue reading