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If academia ceases to have an impact it loses its raison d’être. Impact is what differentiates meaningful academic work from mere busywork. It makes the difference between signal and noise.

[…]

Ultimately, the questions that concerns us [are] what role research plays in society and how we can create a research system with impact at its core?

Indeed. We have to be asking (and answering!) questions that matter.

I like this project. Benedikt and Sascha say they’re taking a systemic approach to model the full complexity of academic impact:

academia struggles with creating/measuring/generating impact because it struggles to conceptualise and structurally anticipate it. We are missing a systemic perspective on impact that is grounded in the fact that different forms of meaningful academic work show very different forms of impact.

The work is supposedly semi-open. The authors ask anyone that reads each chapter, released incrementally on Google Docs, to contribute comments, and then they will work to incorporate these insights back into the final output.

Here’s a link to the first chapter.

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