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The wicked problem of measuring real-world research impact: Using sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets in academia

journal contribution
posted on 28.11.2021, 23:09 authored by Geoffrey ChapmanGeoffrey Chapman, Ashley Cully, Jennifer Kosiol, Stephanie MachtStephanie Macht, Ross ChapmanRoss Chapman, Janna A Fitzgerald, Frank Gertsen
This paper proposes that the United Nation's sustainable development goals (SDGs) and associated targets form an effective framework for determining real-world research impact. Existing bibliometrics that assess the quality of academic work are usually quantitative and self-referential, reducing the focus on real-world issues. The same measurements are often adopted by funding bodies, pressuring researchers to increase compliance, and further reducing integrity and real-world impact. A series of world cafés were conducted, collecting data on how researchers, their institutions, and network organisations can contribute to, and measure research aligned with the SDGs and targets. The results showed that participants were generally positive towards using the SDGs and targets to measure impact and quality of academic research. Suggestions to assist greater adoption of the SDGs and targets as a measure of impact included: aligning governmental and institutional funding; changing key performance indicators; increasing cross-disciplinary work; aligning mission/vision statements; and legitimising SDG-focused projects at conferences.

History

Volume

26

Issue

6

Start Page

1030

End Page

1047

Number of Pages

18

eISSN

1839-3527

ISSN

1833-3672

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

15/07/2020

External Author Affiliations

Griffith University; Aalborg University, Denmark

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of Management and Organization