Societal Impact of Research

The working group Society Using Research (SURe) focuses on the socio-economic and cultural effects that scientific research results have on society at large; as represented by private, professionals and (lay) public.


Current research policy expresses an apparent need to develop additional evaluation methods that do greater justice to the variety of outputs and activities of researchers. This will help to assess their impact beyond the scientific realm. The working group thus aims at contributing to the further development and scientific-scholarly foundation of societal research-assessment methodologies that are useful  in all domains of science and human scholarship. The working group addresses the following three topics:

  • To identify stakeholders (users of research), their interactions with science, and recognition of the concept by the academic and outside world;
  • To develop an independent method to retrieve data that analyzes and/or quantifies scientific outputs (not only publications) describing societal quality of research. This approach is defined as altmetrics, or alternative metrics from bibliometrics.
  • To validate, value, and visualize the results of evaluation of societal quality. In other words, what is the meaning (value) of these societal outputs.

These three topics are interlinked and can’t be studied in isolation, especially because of the complex and intricate societal impact of science which are both long term and difficult to attribute to specific scientific research.

Share this page


For more information about the SURe working group, please contact Ingeborg Meijer (working group leader) at


Ingeborg Meijer

Researcher and coordinator of the Society Using Research (SURe) working group. Ingeborg focuses on the development of proxies, tools, and indicators to assess the uses of research in society; in public, professional, and private domains.

Clara Calero-Medina

Researcher and coordinator of contract research projects. Clara's research work is related with network analysis applied to scientific publications, particularly citations and co-authorship networks for the study of research performance.

Rodrigo Costas

Researcher. Rodrigo's research focuses mostly on the development and application of new bibliometric tools and the new field of 'altmetrics'.

Wout Lamers

Research assistant. Wout’s main interests lie in dynamics of knowledge production.

Ed Noyons

Researcher and operational director CWTS B.V. Ed's main research interests involve structures and mappings of science and their use in science policy and research management, field delineation, and  multi-dimensional impact analysis, in particular societal impact of science.

Alfredo Yegros

Researcher and member of the CWTS project board. Alfredo's research interests include the analysis of public-private research interactions and knowledge flows, the study of science-technology linkages, and the study of methods that potentially able to capture societal impact of scientific research.

Zohreh Zahedi

PhD candidate. Zohreh is doing research on altmetrics (alternative metrics and tools) and investigating potential of using altmetrics for measuring research performance.

Build on Applepie CMS by Waltman Development