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Abstract  

A study of the structure and scientific activity of the most productive Spanish research teams in two biomedical subfields, Pharmacology & Pharmacy and Cardiovascular System (SCI), during the period 1990–93 was carried out through bibliometric indicators. The teams were characterized according to their size, production, productivity, research level and expected impact factor of their output, collaboration pattern and interdisciplinarity. Main differences between both subfields were analyzed and explained by their different clinical/basic character. The study was undertaken to identify structural or dynamic features of teams associated with good scientific performance.

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Bibliometric analysis of publications of Spanish pharmacologists in the SCI (1984–89)

I. Contribution to the “Pharmacology & Pharmacy” subfield (ISI)

Scientometrics
Authors: M. Bordons, F. García-Jover, and S. Barrigon

Abstract  

The present study is a bibliometric analysis, of publications of Spanish pharmacologists, referenced in the journals of the Pharmacology & Pharmacy subfield of the Science Citation Index- CD Edition from 1984 to 1989. During this time the scientific output of Spanish pharmacologists has been growing at an impressive rate being almost doubled. This rate being notably greater than that corresponding to publications of Spain in all science fields. This increase in scientific output was accompanied by a time-dependent decrease on year by year step basis in the expected impact factor (EIF) of publications (Articles plus Notes), from 1.71 in 1984 to 1.28 in 1989, in close correlation with an increase of mean number of authors per paper, from 3.67 to 4.16 authors/paper, respectively. Moreover, the larger the number of authors/paper, the smaller the EIF. Only 8 journals cumulated more than 50% of the papers. The scientific production was geographically localized at a high extent (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia accounted for the 63.7% of all the papers) in governmental institutions (University, 75.2%, Hospitals, 14.1%; CSIC, 10.5%) with one large geographical area lacking any productivity.

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Abstract  

Impact factor is a quasi-qualitative indicator, which provides a measurement of the prestige and international visibility of journals. Although the use of impact factor-based indicators for science policy purposes has increased over the last two decades, several limitations have been pointed out and should be borne in mind. The use of impact factor should be treated carefully when applied to the analysis of peripheral countries, whose national journals are hardly covered by ISI databases. Our experience in the use of impact factor based indicators for the analysis of the Spanish scientific production is shown. The usefulness of the impact factor measures in macro, meso and micro analyses is displayed. In addition, the main advantages, such as the great accessibility of impact factor and its ready-to-use nature are pointed out. Several limitations such as the need to avoid inter-field comparisons or the convenience of using a fixed journal set for international comparisons are also stressed. It is worth noting that the use of impact factor in the research evaluation process has influenced strongly the publication strategy of scientists.

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Abstract  

A Multidisciplinary Research Programme (MRP) is being developed since 1989 in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain, to support cross-disciplinary research projects. This paper analyses the incidence of interdisciplinarity in the UCM scientific publications over the period 1990–96 and tries to determine the success of the Programme at fostering cross-disciplinary research. Interdisciplinary in the UCM is measured through the collaboration of authors from different institutional addresses within the UCM, both in scientific publications and in research projects. Publications jointly signed by the different teams that collaborate in the projects were identified as an indicator of the success of the Programme in integrating disciplines. Interdisciplinary collaboration within the UCM showed an upward trend over time. Publications of MRP groups showed a higher interdisciplinary collaboration rate than the rest of the UCM (17% vs. 9%). Dramatic repercussions of the Programme were not expected due to its limited magnitude, but it worked as a catalyst, enhancing interdisciplinary relations within the UCM. The interest of such a programme is supported by its effects, both direct effects on granted teams and indirect on the whole UCM community.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Maria Bordons, Isabel Gómez, M. Fernández, M. Zulueta, and Aida Méndez

Abstract  

Collaboration practices and partners vary greatly per scientific area and discipline and influence the scientific performance. Bibliometric indicators are used to analyse international, domestic and local collaboration in publications of Spanish authors in three Biomedical subfields: Neurosciences, Gastroenterology and Cardiovascular System as covered by theSCI database. Team size, visibility and basic-applied level of research were analysed according to collaboration scope. International collaboration was linked to higher visibility documents. Cluster analysis of the most productive authors and centres provides a description, of collaboration habits and actors in the three subfields. A positive correlation was found between productivity and international and domestic collaboration at the author level.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Isabel Gómez, Maria Bordons, M. Fernández, and Aida Méndez

Abstract  

The delimitation of a research field in bibliometric studies presents the problem of the diversity of subject classifications used in the sources of input and output data. Classification of documents according to thematic codes or keywords is the most accurate method, mainly used in specialised bibliographic or patent databases. Classification of journals in disciplines presents lower specificity, and some shortcomings as the change over time of both journals and disciplines and the increasing interdisciplinarity of research. Differences in the criteria in which input and output data classifications are based obliges to aggregate data in order to match them. Standardization of subject classifications emerges as an important point in bibliometric studies in order to allow international comparisons, although flexibility is needed to meet the needs of local studies.

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Scientometrics
Authors: Isabel Gómez, María Bordons, M. Fernández, and Fernanda Morillo

Abstract  

The aim of this paper is to describe Spanish universities by means of structural, input and output indicators, to explore the relationship between those indicators and to analyse university behaviour in different dimensions. Seniority of the universities and environmental conditions are taken into account, together with input and output indicators, as well as others related to the networks and links established. Our results will contribute to the knowledge of the university research system in Spain, producing data that could be useful for research management at the institutional, regional and national level.

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