Digital Futures research and society

Action, awareness and accountability


  • Joanne Doyle
  • Lisa McDonald
  • Michael Cuthill
  • Mike Keppell



research impact, technology, learning, evaluation, Higher Education, collaboration


The contemporary Higher Education research environment demands ‘real-world’ impact as a key means of accounting for public sector funding. As such, there is increased pressure on researchers and research institutions to ensure research delivers outcomes for public good. This paper reports on research focused on a Digital Futures collaborative research program. The aim of the research was to explore how researchers and research stakeholders understand research impact. Impact was articulated as ‘making a difference’ however that ‘difference’ was translated by research participants as meaning the tangible impacts relating to quantitative components of research activities. The subtler influences of research impact on society were less well articulated. Results from this research suggest that in the complex world of impact, action, awareness and accountability, as elements of research practice, are key to creating maximum value from knowledge creation initiatives.