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Our impact

We launched Real Impact to help our research communities see the impact of their work. Read more about our manifesto for change and how we demonstrate our commitment to impact through our research, products and our Real Impact Awards.


Real Impact

Research that has real world impact goes beyond citation counts and makes a difference. It’s about communities joining together to find solutions that result in positive change. We refer to impact as the provable effects of research in the real world. We appreciate it’s not always easy for academics and researchers to see the impact of their work. That’s why we’ve launched ‘Real Impact’ to aid the cause and call on research communities to come together and break down barriers. 

Committed to creating real impact

Sustainable Development Goals

We publish research that challenges conventional thinking and delivers real impact in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Explore our content in these key areas. 

Explore our topics

Transparent, accessible products

We are committed to offering transparent, accessible products that ensures the right content goes to the right people, at the right time.

Discover our products

Supporting all forms of open research

We are passionate about supporting all forms of open research and aim to make research more discoverable and accessible to all.

Find out about open

Impact resources

What counts as impact?

The word impact is used in many ways across the national and international research sector. For Emerald, and for many key partners, impact is the provable effects of research in the real world.

Download brochure

Institutional Healthcheck Workbook

This workbook is designed to help institutions consider how ‘healthy’ they are in terms of supporting and generating impact, and identify how they can improve it.

Download workbook

Impact Literacy Workbook

This workbook is designed to help individuals think through some of the key aspects of impact and to help develop skills in impact planning.

Download workbook

Demonstrating the real impact of research

We believe our role is to help researchers tell their story in a more meaningful way. Read some examples of the true impact of research in the real world.

View case studies
Man walking through field of flowers

Real Impact is valuable insight that improves efficiency

The Rotterdam School of Management have used Big Data analytics to help Royal FloraHolland improve its supply of cut flowers.

View case study
Student walking down hallway

Real Impact is connecting research and practice

New teacher-focused research conducted at three Chestnut Learning Federation schools has led to better writing outcomes for summer-born children.

View case study
Woman crying

Real Impact is tackling criminal issues head on

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has created a toolkit to help the hospitality industry and other stakeholders reduce human trafficking.

View case study
Walking past a plastic bottle

Real impact is empowering people to reject plastic bottles

Associate Professor Beth Choate and Assistant Professor Brittany Davis – along with 20 second-year majors, have led a project to reduce bottled water usage on their campus.

View case study

Real Impact Awards

Our Real Impact Awards celebrate the commitment to impact by the research community across the globe.

View awards
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Real Impact Advisory Board

Implemented in 2018, Emerald’s Impact Advisory Board was established to support the research community and help us play a key role in furthering the impact agenda. The Impact Advisory Board works to bring our communities together and break down the barriers to real-world change.

The Impact Advisory Board includes representatives from all areas of the research community, who contribute their understanding and perspectives to foster diverse and varying discussions on the impact debate.

Real impact blog

We believe everyone can make a real impact – read our blogs or join our conversations and help bring your research to life. Together we can make a difference. 


Author: Dr. Emma Stone Ensuring quality education for all is a vital tool in the fight to eradicate poverty. We know this from the everyday…

13th August 2020

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Author: Leslie Villegas So, you’ve decided to write a policy brief, now what? Policy briefs are a great way to use research as a call to action, but…

12th August 2020

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Author: Maria Gintova-Ryerson University, Canada Bridging the gap between academia and practice has been a matter of many discussions, both within…

23rd July 2020

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Authors: Axel Klein, Global Drug Observatory, Swansea UniversityBlaine Stothard, Independent Consultant June 26 marks two major events in the drug…

26th June 2020

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If you want to make a contribution to the Real Impact debate, we’d like to hear from you! Our Real Impact blog helps to bridge the gap between…

24th January 2020

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See all our blogs

We are proud to drive positive change. We aim to deliver real impact. We care about doing the right things to build a better, more sustainable future for all.

Richard Bevan, Emerald Group CEO

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Our stance

Whether it’s the future of research assessment, open access or finding new ways make research be more accessible & discoverable, we want to influence positive change.

Read about our stance

Our commitment

Being a responsible business is at the heart of everything we do. We believe in taking responsibility and working collaboratively with our partners, communities and colleagues to make a positive impact on a local and global scale. 

Read about our commitment