Whether productive authors using the national health insurance database also achieve higher individual research metrics: A bibliometric study

Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Jan;99(2):e18631. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018631.


Background: Many researchers use the National Health Insurance Research Database (HIRD) to publish medical papers and gain exceptional outputs in academics. Whether they also obtain excellent citation metrics remains unclear.

Methods: We searched the PubMed database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) using the terms Taiwan and HIRD. We then downloaded 1997 articles published from 2012 to 2016. An authorship-weighted scheme (AWS) was applied to compute coauthor partial contributions from the article bylines. Both modified x-index and author impact factor (AIF) proved complementary to Hirsch's h-index for calculating individual research achievements (IRA). The metrics from 4684 authors were collected for comparison. Three hundred eligible authors with higher x-indexes were located and displayed on Google Maps dashboards. Ten separate clusters were identified using social network analysis (SNA) to highlight the research teams. The bootstrapping method was used to examine the differences in metrics among author clusters. The Kano model was applied to classify author IRAs into 3 parts.

Results: The most productive author was Investigator#1 (Taichung City, Taiwan), who published 149 articles in 2015 and included 803 other members in his research teams. The Kano diagram results did not support his citation metrics beyond other clusters and individuals in IRAs.

Conclusion: The AWS-based bibliometric metrics make individual weighted research evaluations possible and available for comparison. The study results of productive authors using HIRD did not support the view that higher citation metrics exist in specific disciplines.

MeSH terms

  • Authorship*
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Humans
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • National Health Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Taiwan