Impact tracking

Gather evidence of the wider societal impact of your work

Symplectic Elements blends both quantitative and qualitative data, allowing you to easily build reports and track progress against your institutional goals.

We go beyond traditional metrics with a dedicated Impact Module to support the capture of long-form, qualitative impact narratives, helping to put the work you do in a wider societal context.

The Elements Platform 2

Tracking impact

More and more funding agencies are asking institutions and researchers to provide qualitative evidence of societal, economic and environmental impact generated as a result of externally funded research. For many disciplines, to demonstrate the wider impact of their work they must go beyond the confines of traditional research metrics, unearthing the stories of how their work is impacting the world beyond research.

Impact doesn’t happen overnight, so our Impact Module allows researchers (or their proxies) to build up their impact records over time, adding narrative fields to capture events as they happen as well as adding associated files, links and references. Elements helps institutions build their own collection of structured, reusable impact records, ready to be curated into case studies, developed into news stories or included in reports to funders.

Impact tracking

Capture and track emerging indicators of impact

Our Impact Module provides an easy method for ongoing capture and collation of evidence of impact, be that a document, web link or written narrative. Impact records can be brief or extensive, giving researchers and institutions the tools to build up qualitative evidence over time through a centralised, codified process.

Records of impact can easily be connected to other types of data, including users, publications and grants inside Elements, external web links, or supporting documentation.

Impact tracking 1

Differentiate between types of impact 

There are many different pathways to impact, making measurement complex. Our stock and custom impact types help you get more granular when tracking and reporting.

  • Impact Narrative: Written descriptions of the effect of a piece of research.
  • Impact Plan: Information on intended impact and activities planned.
  • Impact Indicator: Early indicators such as industry engagement or news items.
  • Impact Case Study: Written records linked with associated researchers, outputs and activities.
  • Engagement Activity: Social mentions or other types of engagement.
Impact tracking 2

Track progress toward strategic goals or institutional initiatives

Used in conjunction with Elements’ powerful reporting tools, impact records can provide a powerful way of demonstrating progress toward more high level or nebulous goals; for example, a particular internal institutional initiative, or areas of research contributing toward meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Research Excellence Framework (the REF)

Gathering impact statements for national assessments

Governments around the world are increasingly recognising the importance of tracking the wider societal impacts of research and institutional work. Our Impact Module can be used to collate and curate impact case studies for national assessments such as the REF and ERA, making it easier for you to build submissions and provide evidence to funders.

With this partnership, we have the opportunity to position ourselves as
a world leader in the development of the scholarly ecosystem.

Keith Webster, Dean of University Libraries, Carnegie Mellon

I cannot overstate how pleased we have been.
We have to have confidence to work with a partner
for at least 5 years on a project of this size.

Caleb Smith, Senior Strategy Manager for Research Intelligence & Analytics, University of Michigan

“Faculty need only spend perhaps less than an hour a year to prepare and submit their annual reports.”

Associate Dean, Carnegie Mellon University at Qatar

"Leveraging the interoperability between Symplectic Elements and DSpace has increased policy-driven institutional repository deposits by over 350%."

Ellen Phillips, Open Access Specialist, Boston University

Elements elegantly connected our multi-university system providing a
single source of truth throughout OIEx.

Tim Cain, The Ohio Innovation Exchange (OIEx)

The University measures the individual research activity of academic staff. This Measure of Research Activity (MoRA) requires the collection of publication data from faculty. Symplectic Elements supports this beautifully.

Floris van der Leest, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

[Elements] will help to bring transparency to the richness of thought showcased within non-traditional publications, providing a more holistic representation of faculties’ scholarly work.

Caleb Smith, University of Michigan

Feedback to date has been extremely positive from all levels across the University, with individual academics and colleagues actively promoting the ease of use of the system.

Rachel Baird, Research Policy Analyst, University of Liverpool