Academics Will be Forced to Prove Impact of their Work

A recent Guardian article published on 1 March 2011 had the headline “Universities braced for heavier research burden“.  The sub-title provided further information: “New rules on research funding will force academics to prove the impact of their work outside their own university“.

The intention is that the quality of research will be based on its impact outside of academic circles: “This might include public outreach or details of how a particular piece of work is helping the wider community, for example through medical science“.

Will this change necessitate a greater emphasis on outreach and marketing, I wonder?  And, if so, will this result in an understanding of the importance of the outreach and marketing capabilities of the Social Web by those researchers who still don’t get it?