V razmislek! Citations are not enough: Academic promotion panels must take into account a scholar’s presence in popular media.
Up to 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles are published annually. However, many are ignored even within the scientific community: 82 percent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. Rarely do scholars refer to 32 percent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 percent in the natural sciences. If a paper is cited, though, this does not imply it has actually been read. According to one estimate, only 20 percent of papers cited have actually been read. We suspect that an average paper in a peer-reviewed journal is read completely at most by no more than 10 people. Hence, impacts of most peer-reviewed publications even within the scientific community are miniscule.
... We know of no senior policy-maker, or senior business leader who ever reads any peer-reviewed papers, even in recognized journals like Nature, Science or The Lancet. No wonder: First of all, most journals are prohibitively expensive to access for anyone outside of academia. Even if the current open-access-movement becomes more successful, the incomprehensible jargon and the sheer volume and lengths of papers (mostly unnecessary!) would still prevent practitioners (including journalists) from reading them.
It may be time to reassess scholars’ performance. For tenure and promotion considerations, scholars’ impacts on policy formulation and public debates should also be assessed. These publications often showcase the practical relevance and potential application of the research results to solve real world problems. (Vir LSE - The Impact Blog)