Part IV. Making a Difference, Measuring Impact

In the last part of our e-book, we consider the changing landscape of “impact” in scholarly communication.

The idea of measuring impact within scholarly disciplines has for most of the last century relied on counting the number of citations within peer-­‐reviewed journals. For example, an individual scholar’s listing in the Social Sciences Citation Index, which compiles number of citations in journals, has been a frequently consulted resource in tenure and promotion cases. Recently, there’s been a move to include “altmetrics,” or alternative measures, of scholarly impact that incorporate social media.

When the focus shifts to measuring impact of scholarship on the broader world, there is no consensus about measuring impact.

In what follows, we explore some of the nuances of the shifting terrain about how to measure the impact of scholarly communication and how to gauge a discernible impact on the public good.