The research that radiologists do: perspective based on a survey of the literature

Radiology. 1990 Aug;176(2):329-32. doi: 10.1148/radiology.176.2.2367648.


To determine the nature of radiologic research as practiced by both radiologists and nonradiologist physicians, original imaging-related reports published in the clinical literature during the first 6 months of 1989 were classified and compared. Most of the research by radiologist first authors involved technology development: invention (12%), standardization (35%), and description (32%). Original reports by nonradiologist-physician first authors involved description (28%), standardization (16%), validation (12%), assessment of other technologies (17%), and assessment of pathophysiology (19%). There were few patient outcome or cost-related articles in either category. The greatest difference between the categories was the larger number of reports by the nonradiologists that assessed pathophysiology by functional rather than morphologic criteria. The author concludes that the research performed by radiologists is primarily technology development, that assessment of pathophysiology with radiologic techniques is performed primarily by nonradiologists and is described more often in the nonradiology literature, and that academic radiology programs need to extend their research efforts to include evaluation of technology and functional assessment of disease process.

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Radiology*
  • Research*