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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 25, Issue 11, Pages 609-614
Original Article

A Bibliometric Analysis of Digestive Health Research in Canada

Désirée Tuitt,1,2 Frank Knight,1 and Tara Lipman1

1Research Excellence Metrics Ltd, Burlington, USA
2Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Received 31 May 2011; Accepted 14 September 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Measurement of the impact and influence of medical/scientific journals, and of individual researchers has become more widely practiced in recent decades. This is driven, in part, by the increased availability of data regarding citations of research articles, and by increased competition for research funding. Digestive disease research has been identified as a particularly strong discipline in Canada. The authors collected quantitative data on the impact and influence of Canadian digestive health research. The present study involved an analysis of the research impact (Hirsch factor) and research influence (Influence factor) of 106 digestive health researchers in Canada. Rankings of the top 25 researchers on the basis of the two metrics were dominated by the larger research groups at the University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario), McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), and the Universities of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta) and Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta), but with representation by other research groups at the Universities of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Western Ontario (London, Ontario) and McGill University (Montreal, Quebec). Female and male researchers had similar scores for the two metrics, as did basic scientists versus clinical investigators. Strategic recruitment, particularly of established investigators, can have a major impact on the ranking of research groups. Comparing these metrics over different time frames can provide insights into the vulnerabilities and strengths of research groups.