Purpose: The research landscape is rapidly changing and people need to evolve the way in which they think about publishing their work. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the new article type – the impact article – which is specifically designed to allow collaborators to showcase their impact work and also share learning about how impact is (or is not) achieved. Design/methodology/approach: This introductory paper outlines the rationale for the impact article and explains its new structure, using examples from the very first set of five impact articles to be published in the journal. Findings: There is a clear appetite for sharing and learning more about the reality of impact. Providing a facilitating structure to enable sharing, this study identifies five core building blocks to bringing about valuable impact: problem generation and identifying the impact to be achieved; working with stakeholders; the (co-)creation and learning process; impact outcomes; and the ethics of impact. Research limitations/implications: The new impact article type encourages authors to explore the impact process from start to finish, and to share learning about the process, including dealing with the unexpected and often changing nature of impact. These important learnings will inform future impact work, especially learning about what can (and cannot) be achieved and in what timeframes. Practical implications: Collaboration is key to achieving impact. The new impact article aims to give voice to all stakeholders, through co-authorship opportunities and exploring the differences in perspectives on impact between stakeholders, including differing understanding of the ethics of impact. And to encourage multi-stakeholder co-creative working by enabling the sharing of best practice models and methods of collaborative working. Originality/value: This new type of article aims to celebrate and make explicit the impact of research and so complements existing types of articles that might be separately published on the research itself. The impact article is designed to facilitate knowledge exchange about impact, not underlying research conceptualization and methodologies, but the challenge of designing, developing, tracking and demonstrating impact.
- Knowledge exchange