How to Use the Model

Review or download the Reference Version of the model.  The Becker Medical Library Model for Assessment of Research Impact is organized into the following pathways of diffusion:

  • Advancement of Knowledge
  • Clinical Implementation
  • Community Benefit
  • Legislation and Policy
  • Economic Benefit

Quick Definitions

Each pathway has its own section and examples of indicators of research impact that span the research cycle. Indicators are noted in alphabetical order with multiple examples of impact for some indicators. To learn more about indicators and resources for locating evidence of research impact please refer to the Glossary of Terms and Glossary of Resources.

Advancement of Knowledge
Advancement of knowledge represents research outputs and/or activities that contribute to the scholarly record.
Clinical Implementation
Clinical implementation is the application or adoption of research outputs in clinical applications.
Community Benefit
Community benefit is the enhancement of well-being to the community as a result of research outputs and/or activities.
Diffusion represents translation of research outputs and activities that result in research impact. Diffusion is manifested in a variety of indicators that are categorized in pathways that represent specific areas where research impact can be identified. Pathways are flexible and fluid, and there may be overlap of indicators between pathways.

Pathways of Diffusion as Noted on the Becker Model:

  • Advancement of Knowledge
  • Clinical Implementation
  • Community Benefit
  • Legislation and Policy
  • Economic Benefit
Economic Benefit
Economic benefit represents economic outcomes as a result of research outputs and/or activities.
Indicators are specific, concrete examples that demonstrate research impact.
Legislation and Policy Enactment
Legislation and policy enactment represents codification of research outputs and/or activities into public law, guidelines, standards or policy.
Research Output and Activities
Research outputs and activities are products and/or activities resulting from basic or clinical biomedical research.
Research Impact
Research impact “describes the effects and outcomes, in terms of value and benefit,” as a result of research outputs. (See the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service’s “ Understanding and Measuring Research Impact”). Examples of impact outcomes include indicators that demonstrate:
  • Research productivity
  • Scientific impact
  • Collaboration patterns
  • Publication practices
  • Extent of interdisciplinary research
  • Citation impact
  • Contribution to the knowledge base
  • Change in understanding of a disease, disorder or condition
  • Implementation of policy or legislation
  • Change in clinical or research practice
  • Enhancement of community health
  • Economic benefits

Next Steps

To learn more about research impact and strategies for enhancing research impact, please refer to:

  • Strategies for Enhancing the Impact of Research
    • Contains guidance and tips for enhancing the impact of research and includes examples of tools for dissemination of research findings.
  • Readings
    • Includes a full list of readings related to research impact.