Assessing the Broader Impacts of Ecological Research: Towards a “Broader Impacts Impact Factor”

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2014-01-01
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Skrip, Megan
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Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Science Communication Project @ISU was founded in 2010 with the goal of enhancing collaborative research on, education for, and the practice of public science communication, broadly conceived. Our biennial symposia- which include public presentations of multidisciplinary research and interactive workshops- bring together a network of scholars who share interests in public engagement of science, environmental communication, natural resource management, and agriscience. Conference proceedings showcase research, evaluations, and critiques of science communication-related practices and phenomena.

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The National Science Foundation requires applicants to describe the “Broader Impacts” of their work, but what truly makes a Broader Impacts activity (BIA) “broad” and “impactful”? I suggest that a “Broader Impacts Impact Factor” could define BIAs’ potential for "impact" and aid comparison of proposed activities during peer review.

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