A Collaborative Approach to Defining the Usefulness of Impact: lessons from a knowledge exchange project involving academics and social work practitioners

Heather Wilkinson, Michael Gallagher, Mark Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on a knowledge exchange project involving academics and practitioners in six local authority social work departments. It contributes to recent debates about the coproduction of knowledge, presenting findings in three key areas: the importance of relationships for knowledge exchange; 'what works' for practitioners engaging with academics; and the value of practitioner research for enabling knowledge exchange. It also considers the assessment of 'impact' against the shifting landscape of the Research Excellence Framework, arguing that academic and performance management notions of impact and research quality risk eclipsing the perspectives of research users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-327
Number of pages17
JournalEvidence & Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012



  • knowledge exchange
  • impact
  • practitioner research
  • social work

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