Advisory report ‘Tracking Impact’

Increasingly, research funding depends on researcher and department performance, not only in science and scholarship but also in terms of societal and economic impact. We need good instruments to be able to measure the societal and economic impact of research. The Academy intends to study how best to track that impact.


The advisory report should help us understand which instruments are suitable for determining impact, reveal any gaps, and make recommendations for developing new instruments.


In writing the report, the Academy will:

  • consider national and international trends and reports, for example the LERU report Productive interactions: societal impact in the knowledge society
  • allow for the many different manifestations of economic and societal impact and differences between research domains
  • examine impact-related performance at different levels: individual researcher, research group or department, institute, university and the science system as a whole
  • look explicitly at qualitative approaches, for example narratives and ‘user statements’ (user reviews)
  • advise on which parties should take the lead in developing new instruments.

The Academy is preparing this advisory report at the request of the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science. The request was announced in a letter to parliament entitled ‘Science with impact’ (Wetenschap met impact) of 19 January 2017, in which the State Secretary, acting on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science and the Minister of Economic Affairs, outlined how to improve knowledge valorisation.


The advisory report was published in November 2018.