News | Radiology Education | September 04, 2020

Radiology Research Funding Has Increased But Still No Association with Citation Rate

While AJR articles were more frequently unfunded, and Radiology articles were more often funded, citation rate was not different between funded vs. unfunded; moreover, funding was not significantly associated with citations

While AJR articles were more frequently unfunded, and Radiology articles were more often funded, citation rate was not different between funded vs. unfunded; moreover, funding was not significantly associated with citations

Note: Except where otherwise indicated, data are number (%) of research articles. aSignificance lost after adjustment for multiple testing using false-positive rate control. bStatistically significant. cApplies to Radiology and European Radiology articles only. Courtesy of American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS), American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR)

September 4, 2020 — According to ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), nearly half (47.7%) of the research articles published in major radiology journals declared funding — a proportion that has increased from 17% of articles in 1994 and 26.9% published between 2001 and 2010.

"Most funded articles received support from federal sponsors or nonprofit foundations, whereas only a minority of funded articles were supported by private industry," explained first author Rayan H.M. Alkhawtani from the department of radiology, nuclear medicine, and molecular imaging at University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands.

And as Alkhawtani et al. concluded, "funding was not associated with a higher citation rate."

The Dutch team included a total of 600 consecutive original research articles published between January and October 2016 in three large journals: AJR, Radiology and European Radiology. Using linear regression analysis to ascertain the association between research funding and citation rate, adjustments were made for the following seven factors:

  • journal,
  • continent of origin of first author,
  • subspecialty,
  • study findings included in article title,
  • number of authors,
  • immediate open access publication,
  • time since publication online.

Finding that funding was declared in 286 of 600 (47.7%) included articles, the authors of this AJR "Original Research" article identified the six most significant funding sources:

  • federal sponsorship (29.4%),
  • nonprofit foundation (16.4%),
  • both federal sponsorship and nonprofit foundation (16.1%),
  • private industry (10.1%),
  • intramural institutional research funding (9.8%),
  • other combinations of funding sources (18.2%).

"Articles with first authors whose continent of origin was Europe (p < 0.001), vascular and interventional radiology articles (p < 0.001), and articles published in AJR (p < 0.001) were significantly more frequently unfunded than funded," Alkhawtani and colleagues noted.

Meanwhile, the team noted that articles published in Radiology were significantly more frequently funded (p < 0.001).

Ultimately, citation rate was not significantly different between funded and unfunded articles (p = 0.166), and in the adjusted linear regression analysis, funding was not significantly associated with citation rate (β coefficient, ?0.31; 95% CI, ?3.27 to 2.66; p = 0.838).

For more information: www.arrs.org

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