ABS: von Zglinicki, Research on ageing in Germany

Gretchen Whitney gwhitney at UTK.EDU
Fri Jan 19 18:15:29 EST 2001

TITLE   :       Research on ageing in Germany
AUTHOR   von Zglinicki T

 Document type: Article    Language: English    Cited References: 48
Times Cited: 0

The present review on ageing research in Germany is biased towards
experimental biogerontology, because this is the field which
will define the future of ageing research as a whole. Tn absolute numbers of
publications between 1995 and 1999, Germany is
comparable to other large European countries. However, Germany ranks
definitively last among 10 major developed countries if
the numbers of scientific papers per year are seen in relation to the
economic capability. This is true for the whole of biomedical
research, but it is even more exaggerated for ageing research. There are
potent groups in German ageing research capable of
producing a good fraction of high-impact papers, however. There are many
more researchers in areas highly relevant to
gerontology which recently became attracted by gerontological problems.
However, the importance of modern biogerontology
has not made clear to decision-makers in Germany, so that structural and
financial limitations will probably prevent any significant
rise in the near future, which would be necessary to keep Germany along with
other developed countries. (C) 2000 Elsevier
Science Inc. All rights reserved.

KeyWords Plus:

von Zglinicki T, Newcastle Gen Hosp, Wolfson Res Ctr, Inst Hlth Elderly,
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE4 6BE, Tyne & Wear,
Charite, Inst Pathol, Berlin, Germany.


IDS Number:


Quote from above paper :

"A stratification of papers in gerontological research according to journal
impact factors will essentially measure two factors: First, it will indicate
to a large extent the fraction of biological, and especially molecular
research within gerontology, because those papers do have a much better
chance to be published in high-impact journals. Second, it will indicate how
far authors and reviewers alike believe whether the paper might have an
impact on the biomedical research community as a whole. To strengthen the
latter aspect, journal impact factors of three and ten were chosen as
borderlines for stratification. That means, the vast abundance of papers
with a more specific relevance to gerontology, whether biological, medical
or psychological, will be found in the first group. It should be mentioned
that this group still includes even the leading gerontological journals, a
fact which reflects most of all the (still) small size of the fIeld. That
means that papers with high relevance to the field are to be found in this
group, and is one example to show that stratification by impact is not
synonymous with quality.

The group of papers published in journals with impact factors between three
and 10 will consist mainly of papers with are thought to be relevant not
only to ageing research but at least to one or the other branch of
biomedical sciences as well. Finally, papers on ageing research which make
it into highest impact journals are evidently regarded as being of
outstanding quality and importance. Fig. 3 compares the performance of the
three countries, Germany, UK, and USA, in this respect. Journal impact
factors were checked for papers published in gerontology (defined as above
with the exclusion of papers on dementia but not ageing) in 1998 (from the
US: only the first 400 papers published in 1998).  Interestingly, the
fraction of high- and highest-impact papers from the US is clearly lower as
compared to either the UK or Germany.  A nonquantitative  survey indicates
that this difference is due to a much higher fraction of papers devoted to
psycho-social aspects of gerontology in the US.  Otherwise, Fig.3
demonstrates that the percentage of gerontological papers published in high-
and highest-impact journals from authors in Germany is at least comparable
to that in other countries.  To conclude, it has to be stated that the
output of gerontological research from Germany is low in absolute numbers
and is actually embarassingly low in comparison to Germanys economic power.
However, among the papers produced there is a reasonable fraction of
publications which are expected to be of high impact."

(c) ISI, Reprinted with permission
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