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Section 2-8

Measuring the impact of publicly engaged projects and their publications

Once a publicly engaged project has produced publications, they can be used as one means of measuring the impact of the work. Measures of usage or interaction with print or online publications can indicate the breadth of public awareness. A scholar’s career progression can be another indication of success. But these crude measurements do not gauge whether a project has achieved its own goals, whatever those might have been. A tool for developing metrics tailored to the values of project participants is the HuMetrics values sorter, which we introduce in more detail in Section 6

But first, in the next section we offer some examples of publicly engaged projects and their publications to add some specificity to the points above. There’s also an exercise for examining your understanding of publicly engaged scholarship in the context of actual projects, followed by a section elaborating on the role of librarians in supporting publicly engaged scholarship as a form of values-driven scholarly communication.

Section 2 Summary: what have you learned?

  • Publishing engaged research requires consideration of form and format as part of the initial project design
  • The audiences for publicly engaged scholarship are diverse and often reflect the complex and sometimes messy nature of co-authorship
  • Questions of ownership must be considered respectfully in consultation with all participants, including librarians
  • Addressing the norms of peer review, access, preservation, marketing, and distribution must be handled collaboratively between scholar and public partner
  • Determining the shared values associated with the project and leading with impact will inform what is published and how successful publication can be

This OER was supported by a grant from the Scholarly Communication Notebook.

Last updated 2023-04-21.