Intended for healthcare professionals


Evaluating “payback” on biomedical research

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 02 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:566

Biomedical funding decisions should be audited

  1. Iain Chalmers, director (
  1. UK Cochrane Centre, NHS Research and Development Programme, Oxford OX2 7LG
  2. Policy Unit, Wellcome Trust, London NW1 2BE
  3. Health Care Evaluation Unit, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE

    EDITOR—Grant et al note that organisations that fund biomedical research assume that the research they support will lead to an eventual improvement in health.1 Because clinical guidelines represent one of the final links between basic research and actions to improve health, they looked at which studies were cited in guidelines.

    Although their analysis is a valuable move away from the naive use and abuse of citation counts and impact factors, they may have attempted to bridge too great a distance in assessing which publications in the serial peer reviewed literature were cited in guidelines. Guidelines …

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