Emerald Publishing has relaunched its 'Impact Manifesto', pledging six commitments for change that will advance ongoing debates around academic culture, incentives, and research evaluation.
In refreshing its Manifesto, the publisher calls for sector-wide action, bringing together multiple parties to break down the barriers to change. Since its launch earlier this month, the campaign has received more than 350 signatories from academics, researchers, and institutions.
Emerald was one of the first publishers to champion the need for change, launching its original Impact Manifesto and becoming a signatory of DORA in 2018. Since then, it has actively challenged outdated practices that take the focus away from real-world impact. Emerald has also responded to the sector's desire for change by launching initiatives to drive research impact.
Despite progress, the pandemic has led to a stalling in the sector's ability to drive change, highlighted in the findings of its 2021 Time for Change survey. The global report, now in its third year, surveyed more than 2,000 researchers worldwide. The survey revealed that an increasing number of academics are returning to citations and Impact Factors as the primary way research quality is evaluated (70% in 2021 compared to 58% in 2019). There was a reduced focus on research having a measurable change in practice, policy, or behaviour (from 59% in 2019 to 25% in 2021).
With the report concluding that incentives and structural change are at the root of the issue, Emerald is now calling for collective action across the research sector to break down barriers that hinder research from having a meaningful impact.
Emerald calls upon the community to unite to build shared action plans, asking all interested parties to get behind the six commitments, developed in conjunction with its Impact Advisory Board, by signing up to the Manifesto.
In recent years, Emerald has heard from researchers that one of the main challenges to advancing the research impact agenda is the complexity of sharing best practices and the differing pace of change worldwide, making sector-wide action disparate and siloed. As a potential solution to this, the 'Are you in?' campaign seeks to share approaches, learnings, and case studies of those already active in driving change via its dedicated microsite while encouraging the community to get involved to ensure collective action is coordinated, inclusive and can ignite broader opportunities.
The six commitments of the manifesto focus on championing alternatives to traditional metrics, finding new formats and channels to disseminate to and engage a wider audience, developing more equitable and accessible ways to publish research, and highlighting and rewarding examples of research that is driving real change, co-designing services that help researchers and research offices to develop healthy practices and building stronger partnerships and networks.
Interested parties can join the campaign here.Click here to read the original press release.