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Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Your Research

The Purpose of Scholarly Impact Narratives

Scholarly impact narratives are concise statements that explain the quality and impact of your scholarly or creative work over time. They are best used to supplement the information on your CV, providing background, context, and additional information that demonstrates the impact of your scholarship. In addition to describing the impact of the materials listed on your CV, a scholarly narrative can also report on your present activities as well as your future plans. 

Narratives provide you with an opportunity to make your own case, and can be particularly helpful when your work will be reviewed by individuals who are not familiar with your specialized area of research. A high quality narrative will make it easier for these individuals to fairly and accurately evaluate your work by providing an interpretation of your work that goes beyond a reiteration of the information listed on your CV. In conjunction with your CV, the narrative should provide evidence that you have an ongoing program of significant scholarly contributions.

Integrating Metrics

The role of metrics in your narrative

A strong scholarly impact narrative will use impact metrics and other indicators of quality to provide evidence of substantial contributions to your field. In developing your narrative, it may be helpful to think about providing evidence of three characteristics of your scholarship: 

  • scholarly output
  • scholarly impact
  • development of scholarship over time

Evidence for scholarly output can typically be provided by listing publications, presentations, and other research outputs on your CV. Your narrative can supplement this listing by noting the total number of publications you have produced during your time at WVU, providing information about impact metrics to support claims of scholarly impact, and by providing context to demonstrate the ways in which your works of scholarship are tied together and build off one another. Where appropriate, the narrative can also highlight connections between your research, teaching, and service activities.  


Examples of using metrics in a narrative

The phrases below are intended to provide examples of how you might describe and integrate metrics within your narrative. The numbers and examples are fictitious, and are only intended for illustrative purposes. Note that citation metric standards vary significantly across disciplines. The numbers below are not intended to indicate a benchmark level of citations or impact. 

  • "My research has been cited by international scholars and across disciplines. According to Web of Science, my articles have been cited by researchers from at least 15 countries."
  • "My article in [journal name] is being consistently cited at a rate of about 14 citations per year, indicating that this work has made a lasting impact on the field."
  • "According to Google Scholar, my publications have been cited 945 times since 2013." 
  • "My work has been cited by influential people in my field, including..."
  • My research has made an impact beyond the academy. For instance, according to Altmetric data, my article in [journal name] has been cited by 55 newspapers in 8 different countries and has been mentioned in 135 tweets."