David Gauntlett, a media and communications professor at the University of Westminster, suggests that impact isn’t as unpredictable as you might think.
Over the past few years, the impact dimension of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework has been feared and despised in equal measure. This was perhaps most notably the case in the arts and humanities, where there was a suspicion that this was a tool devised by bean-counting politicians to prove that we arty types weren’t earning our keep.
Since the REF results came out, people have been less upset about it. Perhaps the field wasn’t as harshly judged for its contributions to society, culture and the economy as it had feared. We should have had more confidence.