Impact of unfunded research in medicine, pathology, and surgery

Jules J. Berman, Andrzej Borkowski, Hanna Rachocka, G. William Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The impact of unfunded medical research (ie, research conducted with no visible means of support) has received scant attention. In this study, we counted research contributions from the 10 most-cited journals in the fields of internal medicine, pathology, and surgery. Ten consecutive articles, excluding case reports and review articles, for the years 1987, 1989, and 1991 were sampled from each of 10 journals for the three areas of medicine. Unfunded articles accounted for the majority of contributions (60% of pathology articles, 62% of internal medicine articles, and 74% of surgery articles). In 1987, funded research articles published received somewhat more citations (2,961) than unfunded research articles (2,368). Among articles supported by an NIH grant, the first author of the article was seldom die grant’s principal investigator (38.6%, 26.9%, and 16.7% of funded articles by pathologists, internists, and surgeons, respectively). These results indicate that unfunded research plays a major role in medical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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