How and When to Use the Framework

The method begins with a point of scientific significance and then identifies forward and/or backward links from the significant event to trace the influence of CDC science through the framework. The method expects and relies on user judgment as expert opinion, which could be supported by simple peer review or interviews, to identify credible historical links that can be traced through the framework of events and/or actions representing the stages of value held by CDC science for public health.

Key indicators were identified for each domain of influence, and these indicators are flexible.

A program may tailor the use of these indicators, and others not listed here, to its project. Key indicators allow one to track and qualify events. Attention is paid to contributors, nature of contribution, correct assignment of credit, and nature of re-use of knowledge.

This model can serve as a framework for focusing and monitoring broader impact of CDC science, not just for monitoring the impact of individual/single publications/products. It can promote a culture change from assessing the impact of CDC science primarily through citations of CDC publications, by capturing qualitative data that measure the changes occurring as a result of CDC science. With this framework, CIOs can choose what to monitor to show the broader impact of their science. Information generated from this can be used to produce annual reports (or more frequent reports as appropriate).

The Framework can be used prospectively or retrospectively

Examples of Prospective Use of the Science Impact Framework:

  • To promote a funding opportunity announcement (FOA), the model may provide grantees a way of packing their material as tentative measures of their projects. The final outcomes of these projects may take several years, and the model provides an immediate and tentative way to measure a project’s impact.
  • To track the uptake and use of a recently developed and disseminated Guideline and Recommendation (G&R), the model may provide an immediate response for the G&R.

Examples of Retrospective Use of the Science Impact Framework:

  • For a published manuscript, one may identify where it has been cited and the context in which it was cited.
  • For a completed project, one may see how the project’s impact may trigger the backward tracing of events.

Resources for Developing Your Narrative Using the Science Impact Framework:

  • OADS – develops the system to support information collection and works with CIOs to introduce and familiarize them with how this model works. OADS coordinates the development of regular reports. If you have further questions, you may contact Dr. Mary Ari at
  • CDC Public Health Library and Information Center (PHLIC) – coordinates the bibliographies.