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.
Authors:Teresa H. Jones, Claire Donovan, and Steve Hanney
Funders of health research increasingly recognise the need both to understand the translation of biomedicalresearch into improved healthcare and to assess the extent to which these wider impacts or benefits to
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.
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.
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.
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.
Authors:Maria Bordons, Isabel Gómez, M. Fernández, M. Zulueta, and Aida Méndez
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.
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.
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
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.
Authors:R. Pietra, E. Sabbioni, M. Gallorini, and E. Orvini
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.