SIOR (Social Impact Open Repository) is an open access repository to display, share and store the social impact of research results. Achieving impact is a growing demand from society to science and to scientists, but this information had not yet been systematically gathered and registered. SIOR is the first open access worldwide repository on social impact, a non-profit initiative to enhance scientific research with social impact.

By including their evidence of social impact in SIOR, researchers and research institutions make clear contributions to science, to societies and to their own work. There are many social impacts from research projects which are unknown by society, but will be clarified in this repository. Citizens, institutions and funding agencies will find in SIOR both a general overview and very concrete evidence of research having social impact. Within SIOR, researchers or research institutions describe the social impact of their scientific work and provide the evidence of this impact and the source (i.e. institutional report, publication, legislation, website, dataset, press release, etc.). Evidence of social impact is peer reviewed before online publication, assigning a social impact score in relation to this evidence (see the ‘Indicators’ section).

SIOR is open source, enabling integration with other open source registries, CRIS systems and persistent identifiers. For instance, by registering to SIOR with an ORCID id, researchers can already link their social impacts to their individual research profiles.

Beyond gathering impact information and allowing for data search, SIOR provides measurable parameters of social improvements generated by scientific projects. SIOR is therefore transforming the idea of scientific research, by promoting a necessary alternative to the stagnation of scientific results and enabling real social impact. The SIOR initiative was born in the framework of the IMPACT-EV project, funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission and coordinated by the research center CREA at the University of Barcelona. IMPACT-EV’s objective is to create indicators and a system to monitor and evaluate scientific, political and social impact of research in SSH. SIOR will contribute to enhance scientific research with social impact and increase the visibility of this research on a worldwide scale, while widening the concern about social impact across international scientific community.


Social impact refers to social improvements achieved as a consequence of implementing the results of a particular research project or study. Our societies have already defined societal challenges and goals under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and need research developments and innovations to address them.

Through SIOR, researchers can provide evidence of how their research has been useful to help meet these social targets, for instance, contributing to create employment, increase access to health, reduce carbon emissions or reduce poverty, in a particular area or at a broader scale.

Often, social impacts are not immediate but gathered in a longer term. SIOR allows researchers to edit periodically their entries, adding new evidence of impacts related to the results of their research projects.


Linking and Sharing

Linking researchers, research project and social impact

  • Upload research projects
  • Upload researchers & ORCID researcher ID
  • Upload project oriented societal challenges & goals
  • Upload Social Impact to projects
  • Upload link evidence (datasets, press release, etc...)
  • Open access

Users

  • Researcher and academics
  • Institutions, Centers of Research and foundations
  • Funders
  • Responsible Bodies for the management and evaluation of research
  • Social and political agents
  • General public

Societal challenges & Goals


On October 2018, European Union published Monitoring the impact of EU Framework Programmes, an analysis made by three experts from the Expert Group on Evaluation Methodologies, Peter van der Besselaar, Ramón Flecha and Alfred Radauer, regarding the literature review and lessons learned from what it is done all over the world in terms of tracking scientific, societal and economic impact. This profound study of the most relevant actions carried out worldwide led to a proposal for the next Framework programme Horizon Europe (FP9) for research and innovation. Monitoring the impact of EU Framework Programmes.

As a conclusion, this report proposed indicators for monitoring the impact for the three dimensions mentioned above:


SCIENTIFIC IMPACT INDICATORS
Pathways Short Term Medium Term Long Term
Worldclass Excellence Number of Framework Programme (FP) publications Number of top cited FP publications Contributions to promising topics and fields
Strengthening Human capital Number of researchers participating by gender age position type contract Visibility and impact in the field Career advancement due to FP participation
Open Science Share of FP output as open access Open access output cited Use of open data

SOCIETAL IMPACT INDICATORS
Pathways Short Term Medium Term Long Term
Addressing global challenges Number and share of outputs aimed at addressing specific cluster challenges and Sustainable Development Goals Number and share of innovations and scientific results addressing specific cluster challenges and SDGs Effects from use of FP- funded scientific results and innovations on tackling specific cluster challenges and SDGs
Achieving R&I missions Outputs in specific R&I missions Results in specific R&I missions Targets achieved in specific R&I missions
Engaging EU citizen Number and share of FP projects where EU citizens contribute to the cocreation of R&I content Number and share of FP beneficiary entities developing citizen engagement mechanism for R&I beyond FP project Uptake of FP scientific results and innovative solutions by citizens
Supporting policymaking FP projects producing policy relevant findings FP policy relevant findings reaching policy makers Policy documents citing FP findings

ECONOMIC IMPACT INDICATORS
Pathways Short Term Medium Term Long Term
Economic growth Number of innovative products by type of innovations IP applications Number of Companies supported Turnover growth
Jobs Number of FTE jobs created or maintained in beneficiary entities for the FP project (by type of job Increase of jobs in beneficiary entities following FP project (by type of job) Number of direct & indirect jobs created or maintained due to diffusion of FP results (by type of job)
Investments Amount of public & private investment mobilised with the initial FP investment Amount of public & private investment mobilised to exploit or scale-up FP results EU progress towards 3% GDP target due to FP

With the aim of making social impact of research visible for all, SIOR collaborates with Wikipedia with the idea of providing evidence of how this collaboration can contribute to the dialogical evidence-based policy(Flecha, 2014-2017) by sharing social impact of research with citizenry.


Social media has achieved a relevant role in researchers daily routine. Whether for sharing their most recent research, interest, opinions or academic results, researchers are active on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Is sharing your research results with millions of users a good way to achieve social impact or not? What do researchers need to share in order to achieve social impact? Is everything researchers share an evidence of social impact they achieve? Is this information useful for non-academic users? What can non-academic users learn from what researchers share on social media?

Most recent research (Pulido et al., 2018) has analysed the role that social media plays in the evaluation of the social impact and, considering new concepts, has concluded the following:

  • Social media could be used as an intermediary between researchers and society since researchers can share and publish evidences, both qualitative and quantitative, of the social impact they have achieved and citizens can learn about it and use the information in their daily lives.
  • Twitter and Facebook can be used for spreading knowledge and they are valid sources for evaluating social impact. The evidence of social impact found in social networks stands for both potential and real social impact.
  • By sharing evidences of their social impact, researchers can make citizens to be involved in social media. Information is easily shared, reaches millions of people and could benefit users, improving their life quality.
  • Science and its results are more transparent offering citizens the opportunity to participate in the evaluation of the social impact of research. Users themselves are able to spread scientific knowledge to those who cannot access social media and together with other agents such as experts, policy makers, can improve the entire society, promoting changes and policies based in those scientific results that have been successful.

New concepts that were considered:

  • SICOR is the Social Impact COverage Ratio that identifies the percentage of tweets and Facebook posts that give information about the potential or the real social impact of a research project in relation to the total amount of social media data found related to it.
  • SISM stands for Social Impact through Social Media methodology.


Get started! Share your social impact from research!