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DASSH response to the Australian Research Council, Department of Education and Training’s Engagement and Impact Assessment consultation paper
We urge a broad and inclusive definition of 'engagement' and support a selective use of case studies chosen to demonstrate patterns of direct and indirect impact on end-user benefits. We caution about the limits of metrics to adequately represent the quality of our research and the burden on researchers and peer assessors in evaluating peer reviewed disciplines.
We also raise concerns about the cost and burden of a meaningful engagement and assessment exercise for the higher education sector. We are equally concerned by the option of a cost-effective but meaningless exercise. We recommend that serious consideration be given to the costs versus the benefits of the proposal in this consultation paper compared to other ‘demand-side’ options for achieving greater collaboration among researchers and end-users (commercial and non-commercial).