Emerald Impact Services illustrate the co-produced pathway to impact

Emerald Publishing (a global academic publisher based in UK) has launched a new research impact service based on some of our work. While they have not yet formally rolled out in Canada I thought the Canadian KTE CoP would be interested in some new tools and services to support research to impact.

Many years ago I developed and published the co-produced pathway to impact (CPPI) with colleagues from PREVNet (you can read a summary of the article here). In the CPPI model below research can move through five stages of the pathway before making broader societal impacts. Each stage may be co-produced with activities happening with and for academic and non-academic partners. As the feedback loops show this should not be construed as a linear pathway. Any research to impact project might cycle backwards and forwards along the pathway and up and down between co-production partners..Yesterday Emerald launched their new Impact Services based on foundational work by me and Julie Bayley (University of Lincoln, UK). Our relationship with Emerald is a case study of the CPPI in action.

  1. Stakeholder engagement: Julie and I are both embedded in the impact systems of UK and Canada respectively. We routinely engage with people and organizations active in research impact. We understand the opportunities and the pain points and how they are different in countries like UK that has a formal impact assessment system (the Research Excellence Framework) and countries like Canada that don’t.
  2. Research: Since Julie and I both have elements of impact scholarship and impact practice in our institutional roles we co-produced the research on impact literacy from a scholarly and practical basis. We also checked in with other practitioners in both Canada and UK to ground the research in the needs of those who would ultimately be using it.
  3. Dissemination: We first published the concept of research impact literacy in Evidence and Policy and then subsequently in Emerald Open Research. Along the way we presented at scholarly conferences and practitioner conferences such as the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (UK) and the Canadian Association of Research Administrators, along with others. And Julie shared our research impact literacy work with Emerald who subsequently published the impact literacy and institutional health check tools.
  4. Uptake: As brilliant as Julie and I are Emerald wasn’t going to just take up the research sight unseen. They did their own due diligence and their own stakeholder engagement to evaluate the market potential for impact literacy as a product/service. Once they decided the theory and tools were useful they implemented them into a suite of services.
  5. Implementation: This is where we are now. Emerald has taken our work and accelerated it, implementing it as Emerald Impact Services. They just launched yesterday so let’s give them some time before we can assess if any – wait for it – IMPACT has occurred.
  6. Impact: This is the future. We hope that Emerald Impact Services will benefit researchers, students, their research partners and research institutions by adopting impact practices throughout their research cycle and over a research career all in a healthy and supportive fashion.

So here Julie and I are, just a couple of impact professionals practicing what we preach. And illustrating the various stages of the CPPI in action. The CPPI is not just a conceptual framework that helps you think through different stages of research to impact. It’s actually useful and is being used.

Let’s check back in a year or so to see how much impact these impact services are making.