, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 317-328

First online:

Evidence base, quantitation and collaboration: three novel indices for bibliometric content analysis

  • Louise WilesAffiliated withDivision of Health Sciences, University of South Australia Email author 
  • , Timothy OldsAffiliated withDivision of Health Sciences, University of South Australia
  • , Marie WilliamsAffiliated withDivision of Health Sciences, University of South Australia

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Bibliometric measurements, though controversial, are useful in providing measures of research performance in a climate of research competition and marketisation. Numerous bibliometric studies have been performed which rely on traditional indices (such as the journal impact factor and citation index) and provide little descriptive data regarding the actual characteristics of research. The purpose of this study was two-fold, to develop three novel bibliometric indices, designed to describe the characteristics of research (relating to evidence base, quantitation and collaboration), and to apply them in a cross-sectional audit of original research articles published in Australian professional association journals across medicine, nursing and allied health in 2007. Results revealed considerable variation in bibliometric indices across these journals. There were emerging clusters of journals that published collaborative research using higher levels of evidence and reported quantitative data, with others featuring articles using lower levels of evidence, fewer quantitative data and less collaboration among authors.


Bibliometrics Medicine Nursing health occupations Allied health occupations Professional practice