Using bibliometrics to define the quality of primary care research

Eugene Garfield eugene.garfield at THOMSONREUTERS.COM
Tue Aug 2 14:49:20 EDT 2011

Using bibliometrics to define the quality of primary care research  BMJ
2011;342:doi:10.1136/bmj.d1083 (Published 8 March 2011) 




1.       Alison L Weightman
it=Submit> , associate director1, 

2.       Chris C Butler
ubmit> , professor of primary care medicine2 

+ <>  Author

1.    1Research and Academic Engagement, Information Services, Cardiff
University, Cardiff CF14 4YS, UK 
2.    2School of Medicine, Cardiff University 

Email weightmanal at <mailto:weightmanal at>  

A useful international benchmark, but should not be used to allocate

In the linked bibliometric analysis (doi: 10.1136/bmj.d1028 ), Glanville
and colleagues assess the value of primary care research from the United
Kingdom and five comparator countries, as measured by references or
citations in later research publications. The authors found that these
measures consistently placed UK researchers among the best in the world.

Although opinions differ as to how reliable bibliometrics are as a sole
measure of the quality and impact of research, [2, 3, 4] they are
increasingly used to assess peer reviewed research outputs in contexts
such as local research performance indicators, grant applications, and
academic appraisal processes. The Higher Education Funding Council for
England's current recommendation is that, because bibliometrics are
unlikely to be free from distortion,[5] the forthcoming Research
Excellence Framework subpanels will be asked to decide whether they wish
to use citation information to inform their review of research outputs.
Some may well do so. 

The decisions made by the framework will inform the distribution of
public funds by the four UK higher education funding bodies and
therefore influence the development of the evidence base, in one
direction or another, that supports clinical decisions in the more than
300 million general practice consultations each year in the UK, which
represent more than 95% of all NHS consultations. ... 

[Full text of this article]





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