Rethinking Research Assessment: Building Blocks for Impact

Advocacy resourcesTools  For:Research institutes      DORA-produced

This is part of DORA’s toolkit of resources to support academic institutions that are improving their policies and practices. Find the other resources in the toolkit here.

Building Blocks for Impact is a one-pager that outlines and illustrates the wide variety of academic achievements and outcomes that could be considered “impactful”. This model visualizes “impact” on two dimensions: scale of contributions’ influence and new types of audiences. The example achievements and outcomes that are mapped along these dimensions outline a range of scholarly work, including open science practices, institutional policy contributions (e.g., diversity, equity, and inclusion), real-world societal contributions, and industry collaborations. This model could be useful for a variety of scenarios and users, such as:

  • An academic who seeks to outline, plan, and pursue personally meaningful career aspirations.
  • An advocate or policy-maker who is seeking to developing evaluation policies and practices to recognize a broader range of scholarly work for hiring, promotion, or tenure.

Please reach out to us ( if we can answer any questions or to share how you used this resource. DORA is eager to support the use of these resources and to hear how they are being used.

This tool was developed as a part of Tools to Advance Research Assessment (TARA), a project to facilitate the development of new policies and practices for academic career assessment. Project TARA is supported by Arcadia, a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage, and promote open access to knowledge.