Gastroenterology research in the United Kingdom: funding sources and impact
- Dr G Lewison, Unit for Policy Research in Science and Medicine, The Wellcome Trust, 210 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK.
- Accepted 4 March 1998
Aims—To determine the sources of funding for UK gastroenterology research papers and the relative impact of papers funded by different groups and of unfunded ones.
Methods—UK gastroenterology papers from 1988–94 were selectively retrieved from theScience Citation Index by means of a specially constructed filter based on their title keywords and journal names. They were looked up in libraries to determine their funding sources and these, together with their numbers of authors, numbers of addresses, and research category (clinical/basic) were considered as input parameters to the research. Output parameters analysed were mean journal impact category, citation counts by papers, and the frequency of citation by a US patent.
Results—Gastroenterology papers comprise about 7% of all UK biomedical research and 46% of them have no acknowledged funding source. One quarter of the papers acknowledged government support, and a similar fraction a private, non-profit source; 11% were funded by the pharmaceutical industry. The papers acknowledging funding had significantly more impact than the others on all three measures. The citing patents had six times more UK inventors than the average for all US Patent and Trademark Office patents in the relevant classes and were mostly generic in application.
Conclusion—The variation in impact of papers funded by different sources can mostly be explained by a simple model based on the input factors (numbers of funding bodies, numbers of authors, numbers of addresses, and research type). The national science base in gastroenterology is important for the underpinning of UK invented patents citing to it.