This report analyses the publication output of NHMRC health and medical research funding. The results show that NHMRC-supported research significantly outperformed other comparable Australian research over the five-year study period (2005-2009).
NHMRC supports research through a diverse range of funding schemes targeting individual researchers, different types of research groups, specific projects and particular fields of study.
Measuring up 2013 is the latest in a series of bibliometric studies, first published in 1996, of the outputs of NHMRC research funding. For the first time, this analysis focused on comparing the impact of NHMRC-supported research with that of other Australian health and medical research.
The findings in the report show continuing strong performance by Australian health and medical research overall and by NHMRC-supported research in particular. For example:
- 20,960 NHMRC-supported publications accounted for about 31% of all Australian health and medical research output in 2005– 2009, up from 26% in 2002–2006.
- The number of health and medical research publications that have NHMRC support was 68% higher in 2005–2009 than in 2002-2006, whereas the total Australian health and medical research publications increased by 44% during the same period. Australia now contributes 3.1% of the world’s biomedical research.
- NHMRC-supported publications received 60% more citations than the world average. The average citation rate for Australian health and medical research publications was 17% above the world average.
- In all fields and sub-fields, NHMRC-supported publications had a relative citation impact above that of other Australian health and medical research publications that were not supported by NHMRC funding
- More than 2.5% of NHMRC funded publications are in the top 1% most cited papers world wide.
- Australia had 1,214 papers in the top 1% most cited papers in the world, and almost half of those had NHMRC support.
- Nearly 40% of NHMRC-supported publications involved international collaborations, from over 110 countries.
Bibliometric analysis involves many variables and should not be used to draw conclusions selectively or in isolation from other measures. Some caveats to keep in mind:
- There are differences in methodology between this report and the previous 2009 report, mainly the change to a different classification system for fields of research and the addition of three new NHMRC grants schemes.
- As there are wide variations in citation practices between fields of research, citations are quoted relative to the norm in the field.