At many institutions, in fact, the criteria for assessing a scholar’s research for tenure and promotion includes some statement about that scholar’s “impact” on the field at a national or international level, and we treat the peer-review process as though it can give us information about such impact.
I suppose this must be true, but it’s sort of shocking to me. It’s not the case at my institution, for example; “impact” and “publications are very much not the same thing, and demonstrating the latter can only serve as partial evidence for the former. I think this is the case in most cases, but tenure candidates are under the misguided (and perhaps misinformed) assumption that publications = impact. Impact has to do with somehow accounting for what your work has done, not just the fact that it has been published.