Record your research impact information

Impact is the demonstrable contribution of research to changes that bring benefits to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia. Impacts differs from knowledge exchange activities (e.g. public engagement, schools engagement, training sessions, meetings, media, advisory panels and boards, consultations), which are not in themselves considered impact, unless you can show that the activity has led to a change beyond academia because of such activities.  The Pure impact module stores information about any kind of impact, in a place that is easily accessible to you and collaborators in the University. 

There are a number of reasons why it’s good to keep track of the impact your research has on society. Efforts made to increase the impact of research can be used when applying for a promotion (see Examples of Excellence in Knowledge Exchange - note that this link directs you to a SharePoint site that is only available to University of Edinburgh staff). In addition, many funders ask for a report on the impact of research, and impact accounts for an increasing percentage of the Research Excellence Framework score (25% in 2021, which is an increase from 20% in 2014).

Pure can help you to keep track of your impacts by providing a place to store details of the impact and evidence of the impact, and linking the impact to research outputs and other activities on Pure. You can include the impact information in your own CV generated by Pure. Information held on Pure impact records may be used for school or college reports, funder reports, annual reviews, or if the impact has been shortlisted for REF then the information can be used for preparing an impact case study.  Information held on the impact record will never be made public on Edinburgh Research Explorer – Pure is a secure system and impact records are only viewable by the record creator, linked individuals and staff with editor rights.   

It’s good to create an impact record at the earliest opportunity then build the information up as the impact develops. You can create a record when you anticipate an impact, or whilst the impact is occurring.  


The impact records in Pure are not the same as REF impact case studies. 


Guides for researchers who wish to record the impact of their research on Pure.

Please refer to the guides on the Engagement for Impact Hub when creating and editing your impact records or logging evidence. Please note that the Engagement for Impact Hub is a SharePoint site that is only available to University of Edinburgh staff.