Research impact

Research impact


The research and teaching of humanities and social science (HSS) scholars across Canada make diverse and vital contributions to society.  HSS scholarship expands and preserves our store of knowledge and understanding, provides students with crucial knowledge and skills; enriches and engages communities, contributes to the economy and business innovation, and helps ensure informed policy making at all levels.

HSS researchers are often asked to describe the ‘impacts’ of the work they do. While the evidence of this impact is, at one level, visible every day, defining, measuring, and comparing these impacts is an enormous challenge. The Federation has developed resources to support an informed conversation, (among scholars, universities and government agencies), about how to describe, assess and grow the impacts of HSS. 

Working Paper: The Impacts of Humanities and Social Sciences Research (2014)

This working paper proposes five broad ways that HSS research has impact and draws from international practices in proposing a suite of indicators that can be used to illuminate the impacts of HSS research in Canada.

2016 Annual Conference

At the Federation’s 2016 Annual Conference, David Phipps, Director of Research Services at York University, chaired a workshop entitled "Demonstrating the community impacts of the humanities and social sciences,” which examined how to assess and demonstrate the impacts of HSS research. See information on the workshop and watch the video here.

Other resources

  • LSE Impact of Social Science blog: A long-running, active blog covering a broad range of impact-related topics.
  • A Canadian research-impact network featuring supports for researchers and a rich collection of Canadian impact stories
  • SSHRC Research Stories: A searchable database of stories of SSHRC-funded research.
  • Evalhum: A French research initiative focused on evaluating research in the humanities and social sciences
  • ACUMEN: A European research collaboration exploring how the work of researchers is assessed and communicated