Records of Impact

The impact module on myPublications helps you to record and monitor the impact of your research. Finding, collecting and storing evidence of impact is an arduous task for researchers and can exist in many forms and in many places. The task is made much more difficult when the evidence has to be collected after the fact. Impact can often take years to develop and is created, shaped and driven by those conducting the research. The timely capture of this information will help you to prepare for the next REF, as well as other impact-related activities. Information added can be quickly exported for CVs, grant applications and performance reviews.

Some tips:

  • As soon as evidence is obtained, capture it in myPublications so it is ready to be used again. It also brings evidence out of silos and stores it in a secure, central location.
  • Add to the narratives as activities occur. They can be developed or revisited at a later stage. By capturing qualitative impact as early as possible you have an ongoing narrative to which you can refer.
  • Link the impact to related publications, grants or conference proceedings. This helps to build links between research inputs (funding), the activities, as well as the resulting outputs and outcomes (publications, conference proceedings). 
Create new

Step 1: From the 'Records of Impact' box on your home page, choose +add, and then select 'Impact'.

Add a new record of impact

Step 2: Fill in the details on the data entry screen using the ? symbol for guidance on the content you should create. Each item needs the following details:

  • Relationship: Select based on whether you are the lead or making a contribution (not displayed if you are an ‘Impact Officer’).
  • Title: Give your impact a title. This can be a working title or the title for a case study. Unique titles will be easier to locate and retrieve.
  • Narrative: Capture significant events of your impact in the narrative. Over time, you can add additional entries to show progress.
  • External Contributors: List individuals outside the University who contributed to this impact.

Save the details to move to the next step.

Add details of a new record of impact

Step 3: Add additional Sheffield colleagues in order to share attribution. This is similar to how co-authors are added on a publication - they will be able to see the record and thereby avoid duplication of effort. Type in their surname and then select from the dropdown list. Choose their relationship type from the dropdown list and then click the + button. If you do not wish to add any colleagues, click 'Continue'.

Link colleagues to a new record of impact

Step 4: Attach evidence in the form of documents, links or contact details. Each piece of evidence can be annotated with additional detail to explain the nature of the evidence. Some examples of evidence are:

  • Documents: Choose a file to upload, such as a news articles, commentary, reviews, editorials, blogs, tweets, TV and video etc. It may be useful add a date and a brief description of the evidence. Be sure to click 'Save' before clicking 'Done'.
  • Links: Check whether the link is correct by using the Preview (this will open in a new window so you don't lose any data). Be aware that links can break and content can be removed or archived from websites and social media. Look for permanent links like DOI's, handles, official websites or repositories. Alternatively, consider saving a screenshot as an image or PDF and uploading on the link screen. It may be helpful to add a date and brief description of what the webpage demonstrates. Be sure to click 'Save' before clicking 'Done'.
  • Contacts: Add contacts who can corroborate your impact. It is helpful to give details of what they can corroborate in the Nature of Evidence field. Be sure to click 'Save' before clicking 'Done'.

Add evidence to a new record of impact

At the end of the data entry process, you are presented with the option to do more with your record of impact.

Update existing

Step 1: The 'Records of Impact' box on your homepage summarises the impacts records. Click on the link to see your list.

See your records of impact

Step 2: Click on the title of the impact record you would like to update.

See more details about the impact record

To update the narrative, click the 'Edit record' button in the 'Data sources' section. Type in a new narrative entry in the box provided. You can reorder the entries by clicking and dragging them. When you are happy with the entry, click 'Save'.

To attach new evidence, click the 'Attach evidence' button in the 'Supporting evidence' section. See ‘Creating a new impact record’ section above for further help on the different evidence types. When you have finished adding your evidence, click 'Done'.

Edit your record of impact

Export or print records

Step 1: The 'Records of Impact' box on your homepage summarises the number of items in your impacts list. Click on the link to see your impact records.

See your records of impact

Step 2: To export the details of all records, click 'Export' at the top of the page. To export only selected impacts, first tick the boxes of those required.

Step 3: Once 'Export' has been clicked, choose a programme to export to.

Export records of impact

Link to grants or outputs

Any element within myPublications can be linked to another. For example, you may wish to link the impact to the underpinning outputs, supporting grants, or a professional activity. See the 'Linking items together' page for further guidance.

Visit the Impact portal for dedicated help and support with maximising the impact from your research.