Why Measure Your Impact?
Broadly speaking, research impact refers to how a piece of research has contributed to the world. It can be measured on a number of levels, including personal (based on the author), article (where you have published in a journal), and journal (for informing publishing strategy). Measuring and demonstrating impact can be helpful for preparing funding and promotion applications, academic CVs and research assessment activities. It is becoming increasingly important for funders that the impact of research can be planned for, tracked, and demonstrated.
Research impact can be measured quantitatively (for example, by metrics) or qualitatively (for example, by peer review). It can also be measured in the context of academia (for example, by citations) and outside of academia (for example, social and economic impact).
Pathways to impact - RCUK
It is important to understand that impact is viewed differently in different contexts and disciplines. Above all else, impact should be measured according to the goals of the research, which may vary widely. For example, some researchers aim to enhance cultural lives or improve health outcomes, others may aim to create economic prosperity or improve environmental sustainability.