oa South African Family Practice - A bibliometric analysis of research publications funded partially by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) during a 10-year period (1994-2003) : original research
Background: The objective of this study was to establish the quantity and quality of research publications outputs by grant recipients of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) over a 10-year period (1994-2003).
Methods: Peer-reviewed publications in the PubMed database that were related to CANSA grants and were, published between 1994 and 2003 were counted per grantee in 2005, and the mean impact factor of all publications for 2005 was obtained from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).
Results: Over the 10-year period, 129 different researchers from 10 different institutions conducted 192 projects that yielded 570 relevant peer-reviewed publications that are recorded in the PubMed database. CANSA grants totalled R28.2 million and the mean impact factor of all the publications was 3.8. The number of publications per grantee, over the period analysed, varied considerably, from zero to 79, with 10% of the grantees publishing more than 10 (one per year). A significant group of 36% did not publish at all. Most of the studies (64%) concerned aspects of cancer biology and therapy, while only 26% of the projects involved issues relating to the prevention, epidemiology and social aspects of cancer.
Conclusions: Because grants from CANSA are partial and do not pay for the major components of most research projects, such as salaries, the data obtained here is insufficient to create a benchmark for the cost of an average, peer-reviewed cancer research publication in South Africa. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that, on average, a contribution of about R50 000 from CANSA (value from 1994 to 2003) contributed to the appearance of one peer-reviewed cancer research publication with an average impact factor of 3.8 in the period under study. The most popular subjects of research were cancer biology and treatment. In order to bring about more balance in the future, more attention needs to be focused on the prevention, early detection, epidemiology and social aspects of cancer.
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