Sage Partners with Overton to provide a tool that allows researchers to uncover their policy impact

Sage Policy Profiles, which is free to use, demonstrates the influence of research on global policymaking through a discovery process. Results can be viewed and exported in several visual formats and shared.

Sage Policy Profiles lets researchers easily see specific citations and mentions of their work that appear in policy documents and then illustrate and share that work’s impact graphically. The tool is powered by Overton, a company founded by Euan Adie in 2018 (he also founded Altmetric). Sage Policy Profiles hosts Overton’s extensive repository of some 10.2 million global policy documents, guidelines, think tank publications and working papers.

To begin, researchers register and search for their work by their ORCID number or their name. Overton gets affiliation data from OpenAlex, an open database of scholarly metadata for books and papers, which in turn relies on a mix of publisher websites and metadata from Crossref and ORCID.

The free-of-charge, browser-based tool, is aimed at individual researchers to show them where their work appears in evidence-based policies, thus offering insights into how policymakers make use of their research. Sage Policy Profiles presents these results in a personalized dashboard from which researchers can export citations and present their policy impact visually as spreadsheets, maps or slides. On the map, click on the dot to explore the citations. As a 2-step impact metric, researchers can also check to see where a policy document has in turn been picked up.

According to Euan Adie, Overton’s founder and managing director, tracking policy impact can be done in two ways—direct citations from references in policy documents or mentionned in the text of documents from organisations such as the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Brookings Institute or the World Bank. This is different from traditional journal citations often used to determine research impact from cited references.

Additional functionalities include:

  • Identifying second-order citations where policies citing their work have continued to influence subsequent discussions and decisions.
  • Personalized alerts that inform users when cited or mentioned in new policy documents.
  • Exporting results into PowerPoint for presenting.
  • Creating a shareable link to personalized dashboards.

While researchers in all disciplines can benefit from the tool, given social and behavioural sciences (SBS) outsized impact in the policy world, Sage has housed it on Social Science Space to bring attention to the unique, real-world value of SBS.

As a tool designed for individuals, Sage Policy Profiles can’t be used to search for other researchers’ work. Librarians should look into this from the perspective of recommending it to their clientele and, possibly, to see if their own research has had policy impact.

The press release from Sage is here.

The news from Overton is here.