Impact in Applied Linguistics

Impact is what any article author hopes for when they publish their research, but what exactly does that mean, and how can we measure it?

This post from Vitae, the international program which champions professional development for researchers, gives a good overview of how research impact can be defined, and why it’s important for researchers to demonstrate it. Impactful research can help towards advancements in the academic field, or be more widely felt across society.

So how can we sort the most influential research from the rest? There are several measures that we can use to rank research, each showing us a different perspective on impact.

Here, we explore three of these measures, and look at the Applied Linguistics research that is standing out from the crowd in each category. Click the links to access the articles, and explore their impact further using the metrics tab on the article page.

*All figures correct as at 15 March 2017.


One of the most basic measures we can easily record for online journal articles is views – simply, how many people have read the research.

With these three articles, we showcase the applied linguistics research that’s drawn in some of the highest numbers of online readers.


Citations can help us see how a piece of research has impacted on the field, and how important it has been in furthering the research area.

The three articles featured here have achieved impressive citation scores and represent key research in the field.

Altmetric Attention Score

The Altmetric Attention Score reveals how much online conversation there has been about an article, whether that is on social media, news sites, blogs – the list goes on!

These articles represent some high-performing articles in online conversation, two of which share an author, Amy S. Thompson. These articles have been mentioned together in several news items to achieve a duplicated high score – twice as much proof of impact for Amy.