Impact Seminar Series

Societal impact – How can we understand, evaluate and stimulate it?

9 June 2021, 14:00-16:00

Professor Gunnar Sivertsen
Head of Bibliometric Research, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU)




Researchers, governments, funding agencies, universities and other stakeholders around the world are increasingly interested in understanding and evaluating the impact that research has on society. However, this poses a wide range of challenges. For instance:

  • How can we better understand relations between academia and society?
  • How should we compare individual- and organisation-level activities?
  • What value do we give to every-day impacts compared to extraordinary societal impacts?
  • When are metrics more appropriate than case studies?
  • How can we use these metrics responsibly?

In this seminar, Gunnar will draw on decades of experience to unpack these difficult questions, providing insights from Norway and Sweden – countries that have experience of applying the UK REF 2014 impact case methodology and are discussing possible alternatives.

Members of UCD Research’s Impact and Analytics Team will also briefly introduce the Research Impact Toolkit — a new resource to help researchers plan, capture, communicate and monitor impact.


About Professor Sivertsen

Gunnar Sivertsen is Research Professor and Head of Bibliometric Research at the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) in Oslo, Norway. He established bibliometrics as a field of research in Norway in 1989 and has since then published frequently in the core journals of the field. Based on his research, Gunnar has contributed to science-based innovation in the development and use of indicators. He has advised and influenced the development of research systems in several countries in direct interaction with governments, institutions and other stakeholders outside of the academic community. He holds a PhD in Scandinavian literature from the University of Oslo.

For more information, click here and here.