A large National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre facilitates impactful cross-disciplinary and collaborative translational research publications and research collaboration networks: a bibliometric evaluation study.
Kiparoglou V., Brown LA., McShane H., Channon KM., Shah SGS.
BACKGROUND: The evaluation of translational health research is important for various reasons such as the research impact assessment, research funding allocation, accountability, and strategic research policy formulation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the research productivity, strength and diversity of research collaboration networks and impact of research supported by a large biomedical research centre in the United Kingdom (UK). METHODS: Bibliometric analysis of research publications by translational researchers affiliated with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) from April 2012 to March 2017. RESULTS: Analysis included 2377 translational research publications that were published during the second 5-year funding period of the NIHR Oxford BRC. Author details were available for 99.75% of the publications with DOIs (2359 of 2365 with DOIs), and the number of authors per publication was median 9 (mean = 18.03, SD = 3.63, maximum = 2467 authors). Author lists also contained many consortia, groups, committees, and teams (n = 165 in total), with 1238 additional contributors, where membership was reported. The BRC co-authorship i.e., research collaboration network for these publications involved 20,229 nodes (authors, of which 1606 nodes had Oxford affiliations), and approximately 4.3 million edges (authorship linkages). Articles with a valid DOIs (2365 of 2377, 99.5%) were collectively cited more than 155,000 times and the average Field Citation Ratio was median 6.75 (geometric mean = 7.12) while the average Relative Citation Ratio was median 1.50 (geometric mean = 1.83) for the analysed publications. CONCLUSIONS: The NIHR Oxford BRC generated substantial translational research publications and facilitated a huge collaborative network of translational researchers working in complex structures and consortia, which shows success across the whole of this BRC funding period. Further research involving continued uptake of unique persistent identifiers and the tracking of other research outputs such as clinical innovations and patents would allow a more detailed understanding of large research enterprises such as NIHR BRCs in the UK.