Blog by Eric Jensen and Mark Reed: “Managing data isn’t exciting and it can feel like a hassle to deposit data at the end of a project, when you want to focus on publishing your findings.
But if you want your research to have impact, paying attention to data could make a big difference, according to new research we published recently in the journal PLOS ONE.
We analysed case studies from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in 2014 to show how data analysis and curation can generate benefits for policy and practice, and sought to understand the pathways through which data typically leads to impact. In this series of blog posts we will unpack this research and show you how you can manage your data for impact.
We were commissioned by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) to investigate how research data contributes to demonstrable non-academic benefits to society from research, drawing on existing impact case studies from the REF. We then analyzed case studies from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018, a similar exercise to the UK’s…
The most prevalent type of research data-driven impact was benefits for professional practice (45% UK; 44% Australia).
This category of impact includes changing the ways professionals operate and improving the quality of products or services through better methods, technologies, and responses to issues through better understanding. It also includes changing organisational culture and improving workplace productivity or outcomes.
Government impacts were the next most prevalent category identified in this research (21% UK; 20% Australia).
These impacts include the introduction of new policies and changes to existing policies, as well as
- reducing the cost to deliver government services
- enhancing the effectiveness or efficiency of government services and operations
- more efficient government planning
Other relatively common types of research data-driven impacts were economic impact (13% UK; 14% Australia) and public health impacts (10% UK; 8% Australia)…(More)”.