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IMI research remains top-notch, while output grows rapidly


The Thomson Reuters report is the latest in a series of analyses of what journals IMI research is published in, how many times IMI papers are cited by other researchers (the ‘citation impact’), and other questions surrounding the publications produced by IMI projects since 2009. Citation impact is often used as a measure of research excellence.

Key findings in the latest report:

  • By the end of 2015, IMI projects had produced 1 678 scientific papers – a 48% increase compared to the total number of papers published by the end of 2014.
  • IMI research has a citation impact of 1.93 - almost twice the world average (baseline of 1.0) and nearly twice the EU average (1.10).
  • Around a quarter (23.5%) of IMI papers are ‘highly cited’, meaning they are in the top 10% of papers for that journal category and year, when ranked by number of citations received.
  • On both measures, IMI research compares favourably to research funded by other well-established, high-profile medical research funding organisations like the Medical Research Council  and the Wellcome Trust.
  • IMI research is published in some of the most prestigious journals in the world, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, and the Lancet. Nearly three-quarters (73.6%) of IMI papers were published in journals which rank in the top 25% according to their impact.
  • IMI research is collaborative. More than half (58.5%) of all papers feature authors from different sectors (e.g. universities, pharmaceutical companies, small companies, patient organisations). More than half (53.3%) include authors from more than one country.
  • Papers with authors from multiple sectors or international co-authors have a higher citation impact than papers with authors from just one sector or one country respectively.
  • The output of individual IMI projects has also increased. BTCure, a project dedicated to researching rheumatoid arthritis, was the most prolific IMI project with as many as 287 publications by the end of 2015, a 35.4% increase to the total number of papers published by the end of 2014.
  • IMI projects with particularly high citation impacts include projects addressing serious disease areas such as schizophrenia & depression (NEWMEDS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PRO-active), severe asthma (U-BIOPRED), rheumatoid arthritis (BTCure), cancer (OncoTrack and Quic-Concept), diabetes (DIRECT), tuberculosis (PreDiCT-TB), and autism spectrum disorders (EU-AIMS). Other high-impact projects are addressing cross-cutting issues in medicines development such as safety (BioVacSafe), drug delivery (ORBITO, K4DD and COMPACT), chemical compound screening (European Lead Factory) and data management (Open PHACTS, eTRIKS and EMIF).
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