Bibliometrics, the “Clinical Diagnostics” of Research Impact; Comment on “‘We’re Not Providing the Best Care If We Are Not on the Cutting Edge of Research’: A Research Impact Evaluation at a Regional Australian Hospital and Health Service”

Document Type : Commentary


1 Laboratory for Studies in Research Evaluation, Institute for System Analysis and Computer Science, National Research Council of Italy, Rome, Italy

2 Department of Engineering and Management, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Rome, Italy


Following the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) strategic revision as a “research-based” institution, Brown et al have investigated the impact of THHS research, and its key drivers, based on 15 stakeholder interviews and two quantitative indicators. This commentary argues that the quantitative analyses and findings would have benefitted from applying evaluative bibliometrics, hopefully, conducted by experienced bibliometricians. We present the potential of bibliometrics for assessing the scholarly impact of research, as well as a few examples of its application to the case of THHS, for informing research policies and strategies.


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  • Receive Date: 26 September 2022
  • Revise Date: 20 February 2023
  • Accept Date: 18 March 2023
  • First Publish Date: 19 March 2023