, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 365–380 | Cite as

Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database: administrative health care database as study object in bibliometrics

  • Yu-Chun ChenEmail author
  • Hsiao-Yun Yeh
  • Jau-Ching Wu
  • Ingo Haschler
  • Tzeng-Ji Chen
  • Thomas Wetter


The trend to use administrative health care databases as research material is increasing but not well explored. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), one of the largest administrative health care databases around the world, has been used widely in academic studies. This study analyzed 383 NHIRD studies published between 2000 and 2009 to quantify the effects on overall growth, scholar response, and spread of the study fields. The NHIRD studies expanded rapidly in both quantity and quality since the first study was published in 2000. Researchers usually collaborated to share knowledge, which was crucial to process the NHIRD data. However, once the fundamental problem had been overcome, success to get published became more reproducible. NHIRD studies were also published diversely in a growing number of journals. Both general health and clinical science studies benefited from NHIRD. In conclusion, this new research material widely promotes scientific production in a greater magnitude. The experience of Taiwan’s NHIRD should encourage national- or institutional-level data holders to consider re-using their administrative databases for academic purposes.


Administrative health care database National Health Insurance Research Database Bibliometric analysis Knowledge growth 



The authors thank two anonymous reviewers who generously contributed their valuable view points and helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-Chun Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hsiao-Yun Yeh
    • 2
  • Jau-Ching Wu
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ingo Haschler
    • 1
  • Tzeng-Ji Chen
    • 2
    • 6
  • Thomas Wetter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical InformaticsHeidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryNeurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  4. 4.Institute of PharmacologyNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  5. 5.School of MedicineNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  6. 6.Institute of Hospital and Health Care AdministrationNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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