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Section Contents:


Defining Impact

Telling Impact Stories

Moving Forward

Impact stories

Research impact is often tracked and presented piecemeal. There has been a move towards a more cohesive representation of research impact, e.g. as the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) applications ask for Most Significant Contributions and the University of Toronto’s Creative Professional Activities (CPA). Showing the impact of your work is hampered if the account is forgettable. This handout will help you craft a compelling impact story.

An impact story should encompass multiple indicators, including conventional metrics (e.g. number of citations), altmetrics (e.g. social media attention, e.g. those tracked by the company Altmetric), and grey metrics (non-systematically collected sources of impact evidence, e.g. emailed feedback and anecdotes received from users of your work).

An impact story should align with the educational goals of one’s department and institution, but what is emphasized will depend upon the audience. Foreground and background the impact indicators that resonate most with your audience. For example, when presenting to your hospital board, highlight how your research aligns with institutional missions and vision. Consider how medical education research might save or contribute money to the institution. How does medical education research save employee time or increase productivity? What does medical education research provide that cannot be otherwise found? What would be lost if the hospital stopped supporting medical education research?



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