Interesting reading and refreshing perspective on assessment of research impact:
Measuring the Impact of Research—The Context for Metric Development. The Group of Eight Backgrounder, September 2011.
“. . .identifying and quantifying the impact of research is difficult, that any estimate is at best a very rough guide and that the results of any assessment can vary widely. . .”
“. . .it is necessary to consider that by its very nature research is dealing with what we do not know, so that the significance of its outputs are to a greater or lesser degree unpredictable – which is why serendipity is always important.”
No matter how methodological the evaluation process is, serendipity is a key ingredient as it is difficult to know all possible outcomes, when they may occur, or where to locate evidence of such.
The author of this blog welcomes suggestions for additional readings.