Oxford Brookes' Impact Analysis System was developed through a JISC-funded project, facilitated and supported through NCCPE. Our projects purpose was to systematise the identification and tracking of impact of research from Oxford Brookes University, and to embed these methodologies within research practice with a view to their implementation throughout the institution.
Researchers in the School of Law developed a proposal for a pilot study of impact analysis which could be rolled out across wider disciplines as well as being applicable to other HE institutions. Law, as an academic discipline,represents a wide variety of scholarly work including UK, EU and International law, involving differing methodologies from doctrinal, philosophical and socio-legal. Law academics range from theorists to social scientists and it is this diversity that affords the potential to develop a suite of multiple case studies with varying applications from a single source. Furthermore, historical connections between Law Schools and legal professions also increase the likelihood for demonstrable routes to external impact.
We initiated a pioneering institutional partnership that between disparate functions in research, business-community engagement, impact analysis and information management with cutting-edge input from a leading HE impact adviser, Ursula Kelly. This interdisciplinary collaboration was designed to be at the cutting edge of current expertise and developed a sustainable and transferable model of good-practice - the Impact Analysis System or 'toolkit' (Practical Guide to Using the Impact Analysis Workbook). The project and toolkit has contributed to improving our institutional confidence and changing approaches to impact analysis (You Tube - video blogs).
Use of the toolkit has also articulated the different types of impact that are recognised for research. By maintaining the toolkit, researchers are able to track the impact of their work through a number of routes which may lead to impact with non-academic users and should encourage researchers to plan to develop the impact of their work. Through the project and our implementation of the toolkit, researchers are changing their approach and attitudes to impact. Researchers are able to track the impact of their work through a number of routes plan to develop the impact of their work throughout the research lifecycle.