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Abstract  

Traditional means of analysis of research outputs have focussed on citations to papers in journals in other journal publications. But these only chronicle the early stages whereby research in biomedicine is converted into health improvement through better patient care and through preventive measures. New evaluation methods, still based on the concept of citation of research in other documents, are needed and are now being developed. These include the use of textbooks in medical education and the analysis of governmental regulations and health policies, which can influence both the availability of new drugs and the control of toxic substances in food and the environment. There is also an interest in the way that newspapers report biomedical research advances. Readers include politicians, healthcare professionals, the general public (who are increasingly becoming active consumers of healthcare products) and other researchers who may value the immediacy of the reporting. Newspaper articles tend to focus on fashionable topics and to offer premature hopes of cures to disease, but they can also provide a valuable service in showing the importance of animal experiments to biomedical progress. It would be useful to create an international database of newspaper citations through a consortium of partners in different countries who would agree a common protocol and exchange information on a regular basis.

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Introduction Funders of health research increasingly recognise the need both to understand the translation of biomedical research into improved healthcare and to assess the extent to which these wider impacts or benefits to

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Abstract  

The long-term influence and contribution of research can be evaluated relatively reliably by bibliometric citation analysis. Previously, productivity of nations has been estimated by using either the number of published articles or journal impact factors and/or citation data. These studies show certain trends, but detailed analysis is not possible due to the assumption that all articles in a journal were equally cited. Here we describe the first comprehensive, longterm, nationwide analysis of scientific performance. We studied the lifetime research output of 748 Finnish principal investigators in biomedicine during the years 1966–2000, analysed national trends, and made a comparison with international research production. Our results indicate that analyses of the scientific contribution of persons, disciplines, or nations should be based on actual publication and citation counts rather than on derived information like impact factors. 51% of the principal investigators have published altogether 75% of the articles; however, the whole scientific community has contributed to the growth of biomedical research in Finland since the Second World War.

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Abstract  

In three biomedical research institutions, there is no indication of a single laboratory size at which the number of publications per scientist is maximal or minimal. In a scattergram of the number of publications of a laboratory against laboratory size, the horizontal coordinate measures the number of scientists in a laboratory, the vertical axis measures the number of publications from the laboratory (counting each publication once regardless of the number of authors), and each laboratory is represented by one point. Scattergrams for the Rockefeller University (RU), New York, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), London, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, are each described well by a straight line through the origin. The slopes of the lines for the three institutions are not significantly different. In these laboratories, ranging in size from 1 to 46 scientists, one additional scientist increases the expected annual number of publications of a laboratory by approximately 1.1, regardless of the size of the laboratory. Although the three institutions have significantly different mean laboratory sizes, the frequency distribution of laboratory size in each institution is described well by a 0-truncated negative binomial distribution, as predicted by a simple model of laboratory population dynamics.

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Abstract  

New Scientist is a British weekly magazine that is half-way between a newspaper and a scientific journal. It has many news items, and also longer feature articles, both of which cite biomedical research papers, and thus serve to make them better known to the public and to the scientific community, mainly in the UK but about half overseas. An analysis of these research papers shows (in relation to their presence in the biomedical research literature) a strong bias towards the UK, and also one to the USA, Scandinavia and Ireland. There is a reasonable spread of subject areas, although neuroscience is favoured, and coverage of many journals—not just the leading weeklies. Most of the feature articles (but not the news items) in New Scientist include comments by other researchers, who can put the new results in context. Their opinions appear to be more discriminating than those of commentators on research in the mass media, who usually enthuse over the results while counselling patience before a cure for the disease is widely available.

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Abstract  

An econometric-type model was developed that describes the relationship between federal biomedical funding and the number, subject area and research level (clinical to basic) of published papers in biomedical journals. The study covered federal biomedical funding over the period 1962–1979 and biomedical literature counts over the period 1965–1979. A unique feature of the model was the explicit incorporation of the citation-based interrelationships among the various subfields and research levels of biomedicine.Publication counts in a particular subject area were modeled as a function of federal funding to the area and publication activity in related subject areas. In general, publication activity in related subject areas was found to be a significant explanatory variable over and above funding alone. Moreover, clinically oriented subject areas most often had publication counts in related basic research areas as explanatory variables.

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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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Abstract  

The Research Outputs Database (ROD) has been used to investigate the effects of different input variables, including the numbers of funding bodies, on the impact of research papers in a biomedical subfield (gastroenterology). This was determined by the medium-term impact of the journals in which they were published. It was shown that, when account was taken of the effects of the other input factors, the mean impact for a group of papers increased with the number of authors, the type of research (basic more than clinical), and with the number and identity of the funding bodies. However itdecreased slightly if there were more addresses; whether the paper was multinational had no significant effect. Previous work showing that multi-institution or multi-country papers are more highly cited reached this conclusion because it did not take into account the confounding effect of multiple funding sources, and possibly other factors.

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Összefoglaló. A klinikai orvosbiológiai vizsgálatok elkezdéséhez a kutatásban részt vevők biztonságát ellenőrző Egészségügyi Tudományos Tanács (ETT) kutatásetikai bizottságainak hozzájárulása szükséges. A járványt csak tudományos eredményekkel lehet legyőzni, ezért kitörésekor gyorsították a COVID–19 kutatási protokollok bírálatát. A koronavírus világjárvány szükségessé tett egy megváltozott kutatási adatkezelést is. A járványok megoldása a megelőzés. Bár a vírusellenes vakcinák adása hamar megkezdődött, ami jelentős tudományos teljesítmény, mégis tudományellenes hullám söpör végig a világon, és a kötelező védőoltások körüli jogi, etikai viták fellángoltak. Áltudományos érvelésekkel félrevezetnek embereket. Az ETT nemzeti kutatásfejlesztési programot javasolt a járvány következményeinek leküzdésére.

Summary. Biomedical research activities are subjects to prior professional-ethical approval. ETT (the Medical Research Council in Hungary) through its research-ethics committees ensures the safety of people and protects their interests and health in various clinical investigations and trials. Thus, science, ethics, and safety cannot be separated in biomedical research. The ETT operates three national ethics committees. The opinions of ethical bodies are binding; clinical and biomedical research may not be initiated without the consent of the relevant ETT committees. This is in line with international regulations. The ETT has published the “Codex of Bioethics. On the concepts and practice of biomedical research” on its website.

When the epidemic broke out, the ETT Presidency initiated immediate legislative changes that allowed for online meetings as well as digital consent to investigations, in addition to the previously exclusive personal ones. In the epidemic, time became the determining dimension, but this and the aim of the research could not be combined with such “lightening” that would endanger the safety and interests of the participants in the COVID studies. Thus, under the still strict requirements, the time for reviewing the COVID-19 protocols had to be radically shortened. However, the ETT research ethics committees also rejected submissions during the epidemic. A total of 171 COVID-19-related research protocols were approved in Hungary in 2020. The ETT Presidency initiated a national Research and Development program on infectious diseases, a call for scientific clinical R&D proposals on COVID-19, and also elaborated its priorities.

Throughout human history, the solution to epidemics has always been to prevent the spread of disease through vaccinations. The average production time for traditional vaccines is about 15 years, whereas in the year of the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic outbreak, mass vaccinations began with completely new coronavirus vaccines partly made using brand new molecular biology technology that had never been used before. Despite the tremendous professional scientific achievements, a wave of hostilities is sweeping across the world, and the ethos and successes of science, and scientific communities in research are being questioned when their roles are dominant and outstanding. The concept of compulsory vaccination has been arguably classified as a human right. With this, the world of vaccinations was tied to concepts that it really had nothing to do with. Arbitrary pairing and joint treatment of remote concepts favours the spread of fatal diseases such as measles and poliomyelitis, for which there are already vaccines. Meanwhile, pseudosciences are misleading the public.

The coronavirus pandemic has also necessitated changes in data management. The ETT has previously initiated a number of legal and professional proposals on health data management and access to research data, and has developed its own data protection rules following the introduction of the GDPR.

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Abstract  

Twenty-two radiochemical separation procedures for neutron activation analysis (NAA) of environmental and biological samples are presented. They are currently applied in the context of trace metal research related to the protection of the environment and human health. The radiochemical procedures are related to the separations of the elements into groups which allow the determination of up to 50 elements in each sample or to specific separations for single elements. The experience gained in the application of these radiochemical separations over more than ten years allows us to consider them as reliable for sensitive determinations of trace metals in environmental and biological samples.

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