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Laryngoscope. 2013 Jan;123(1):118-22. doi: 10.1002/lary.23659. Epub 2012 Sep 18.

Is NIH funding predictive of greater research productivity and impact among academic otolaryngologists?

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.



The h-index is an accurate and reliable indicator of scholarly productivity that takes into account relevance, significance, and influence of research contributions. As such, it is an effective, objective bibliometric that can be used to evaluate academic otolaryngologists for decisions regarding appointment and advancement. In this study, we evaluate the impact of NIH funding on scholarly productivity in otolaryngology.


Analysis of bibliometric data of academic otolaryngologists.


Funding data for the 20 otolaryngology departments with the largest aggregate total of NIH grants for the fiscal years (FY) 2011 and 2012 was obtained using the National Institutes of Health Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Reports (RePORTER) Database. H-indices were calculated using the Scopus online database, and then compared to funding data at both the departmental and individual level.


Faculty members in otolaryngology departments who received NIH funding had significantly greater research productivity and impact, as measured by the h-index, than their nonfunded peers. H-indices increased with greater NIH funding levels, and investigators with MD degrees tended to have higher mean NIH funding levels than those with PhDs. While there was no correlation between average h-index and NIH funding totals at the level of departments, there was greater correlation upon examination of NIH funding levels of individual investigators.


The h-index has a strong relationship with, and may be predictive of, grant awards of NIH-funded faculty members in otolaryngology departments. This bibliometric may be useful in decisions regarding appointment and advancement of faculty members within academic otolaryngology departments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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