What Scottish primary care researchers are doing to recover their standing in the UK.

F. M. Sullivan*, G. Lewison, J. Clarkson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To compare the outputs of Scottish PC research with the rest of the UK. DESIGN: Bibliometric analysis of the research level and potential impact of research publications. Papers are categorised by level (RL) from basic research to clinical observation and potential impact category (PIC), a 5 year impact factor on a numerical scale. SETTING: Interrogation of the Wellcome Trust's Research Outputs Database 1988-97. SUBJECTS: 17,303 papers, 2,280 arising from Scottish primary care. RESULTS: Scottish primary care publications totalled 14% of the published research in the UK during 1988, by 1997 it had fallen to 10%. PC researchers in the rest of the UK produced a 60% increase (1169 to 1866 per annum) in publications compared to our 25% increase (201 to 251 per annum) over the same period. Scottish papers were less likely to be presenting basic science. The mean potential impact was slightly lower than the rest of the UK (1.89 compared to 1.94, s.e.m.0.02). CONCLUSION: Scottish PC research outputs grew more slowly than the rest of the UK during 1988-97. The research interests and journals selected by the research community contributed to this pattern. The climate, infrastructure and skills required for more effective PC research during this period were also significant factors. The Scottish School of Primary Care provides a mechanism for everyone in NHSScotland and Higher Education Institutions to address the underlying issues identified in this analysis. As a 'baseline' analysis, this report will allow progress to be monitored as the SSPC becomes increasingly effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'What Scottish primary care researchers are doing to recover their standing in the UK.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this