The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), on behalf of a steering group representing the UK Funding Bodies, Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust, commissioned Digital Science, working in conjunction with the Policy Institute and Digital Humanities at King’s College London, as well as Nature Publishing Group, to analyse the impact case studies submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The case studies outline changes and benefits to the UK economy, society, culture, public policy and services, health, the environment and quality of life and impacts in these sectors beyond the UK.

Digital Science created and developed this website and its underpinning database. Digital Science, a Holtzbrinck company, develops software, delivers consulting and works with entrepreneurs to make research more efficient (http://www.digital-science.com/).

The Policy Institute at King’s produced a synthetic analytical report, building on extensive work carried out by the Institute and drawing on the data indexed here (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/policy-institute/index.aspx).

Nature Publishing Group published a separate report on the REF and impact analysis (http://www.nature.com/nature/supplements/collections/npgpublications/impact).

REF impact case studies were written by HEIs, following a four-page template provided for REF submissions.  The template was structured across a title and five sections (summary, research, references, impact and evidence). For further information on REF criteria, please see: http://www.ref.ac.uk/pubs/2011-02/

This website presents a normalized version of the case studies, preserving original text with modifications to a common format to support accessibility. PDF originals can also be downloaded. The development of the website was informed by interviews with representative individuals and bodies for user groups including academics, HEI managers, funding bodies, Government departments, commercial research users and UK and overseas policy analysts. Their requirements and expectations formed part of the design and the subsequent testing for functionality.

Case studies have been tagged with information about fields of research, impact types and location of activity to enable indexing and faster searching. Flexible keyword-bsed search is also available, supported by a high level of search functionality.

Research publication references in case studies have been individually identified where possible, to improve access to supporting information. Not all authors provided DOIs and additional identification has been carried out by Thomson Reuters to enable links to the Web of ScienceTM

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Case studies can be selected and downloaded for further study.