A CERIF-based schema for recording research impact

Richard Gartner, Mark Cox, Keith Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The need for a more structured methodology than currently exists for describing the impact of academic research is widely acknowledged. The most widely used research information standard, CERIF, does not currently allow the encoding of research impact in a structured way: this project devised and tested an extension to CERIF to address this omission. The paper seeks to discuss these points.

Design/methodology/approach – The core methodology of the project is a series of extensions to the CERIF model to encode “impact statements”, indicators of impact and measures as evidence for them. These can be linked to persons, organisational units or research outputs. This model is supported by a small semantic taxonomy of indicators and measures. The model was tested by evaluating it against current information environments, and by assessing its compatibility with CERIF and non-CERIF compliant current research information systems.

Findings – Despite some concerns expressed about the validity of reducing qualitative evidence of impact to atomistic measures, and about a general paucity of such data in existing systems, the model tested well against working environments. It offers the potential for reducing workloads and more continuous assessment of research impact within its stakeholder communities.

Originality/value – No substantive methodology for encoding impact statements existed in CERIF prior to this project. In addition, the atomistic, quantifiable approach to describing impact is relatively unexplored in the higher education community, but offers substantial advantages. The work is of relevance to research managers, developers, system designers and metadata specialists.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)465-482
Number of pages18
JournalThe Electronic Library
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Metadata
  • Research Information Management


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