Ricerca scientifica e promozione accademica in Medicina del lavoro: quali sono le regole del gioco?
Dipartimento di Medicine e delle specialità mediche - Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia
«Scientific research and academic promotion in Occupational Medicine: what are the rules of the game?».
Introduction: Recently, the National University Council (CUN)
recognized the importance of bibliometric indicators in assessing
scientific output and the Ministry of Education, University and
Research established that the selection committees’ decision must be
guided by internationally recognized metrics including the impact
factor (IF). Aim: To analyse methods and tools of metrics to assess
scientific performance in Occupational Medicine by examining some
critical aspects for entry-level positions and academic promotion in
the Universities. Methods: By means of different databases (Web of
Knowledge®, Scopus®, SCImago), the h-index was studied to assess the
scientific output in the field of Occupational Medicine. The h-index
was used as an index of both output and quality of overall output of
researchers, disciplines, journals, and countries. Results: Italian
scientific output in the Public, Environmental & Occupational
Health subject category (h-index=62) was lower than almost the total of
other medical disciplines and, at an international level, is ranked at
12th place (other disciplines ranked 3rd to 9th). Output was 32%
compared to that of the USA (other disciplines ranged from 42% and
61%). However, it should be noted that most scientific papers of
Occupational Medicine researchers are published mainly in journals of
different disciplines (with a higher IF) rather than in journals of
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health (with a lower IF).
Conclusion: Assuming that selection committees’ decisions will be
guided by metrics and will respect the minimum standard proposed by
CUN, Occupational Medicine researchers aiming at academic promotion
will have good reason to ask themselves not only which journals are
most useful but also which journals have the greatest impact. This fact
could have profound implications for the future of the discipline.