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IMI research world class, report reveals


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.

Key findings in the latest report:

  • By the end of 2014, IMI projects had produced 1 134 scientific papers and this number continues to rise. 
  • IMI research has a citation impact of 2.19 - over twice the world average (baseline of 1.0) and almost twice the EU average (1.10).
  • Around a quarter (24%) 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 Wellcome Trust , the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and the Medical Research Council.
  • IMI research is published in some of the most prestigious journals in the world, including Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
  • IMI research is collaborative. Well over half (59.7%) of all papers feature authors from different sectors (e.g. universities, pharmaceutical companies, small companies, patient organisations). Around half (53.4%) 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.
  • IMI projects with particularly high citation impacts include projects addressing serious disease areas such as schizophrenia & depression (NEWMEDS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PROactive), severe asthma (U-BIOPRED), rheumatoid arthritis (BTCure), cancer (OncoTrack and Quic-Concept), diabetes (DIRECT), and autism spectrum disorders (EU-AIMS). Other high-impact projects are addressing cross-cutting issues in medicines development such as safety (BIOVACSAFE, eTOX & SAFE-T), drug delivery (ORBITO), and data management (Open PHACTS).

Meanwhile, a letter published in Nature Biotechnology by authors from IMI and other organisations emphasises the importance of using a framework of multiple indicators to evaluate different aspects of the performance of public-private partnerships like IMI. Currently, IMI evaluates issues such as the impact of its projects on medicines regulation, business development, the involvement of small companies and patients in projects, as well as socio-economic aspects.

The paper, whose lead author is past IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman, notes that such a framework is needed ‘to compare and improve the performance of ongoing consortia and establish new ones that are fit for purpose’. Furthermore, a ‘robust demonstration of the efficiency’ of organisations like IMI is ‘mandatory to support the assumption that they represent the way forward to boost innovation in the healthcare sector’.

# ENDS #

Notes to Editors

  • Download the full report ‘Bibliometric analysis of ongoing projects – 6th report’ or the Executive Summary.
  • Previous editions of the report can be downloaded at: IMI progress analyses
  • The reference for the Nature Biotechnology paper is: Gunn, M.; Lim, M.; Cross, D.; Goldman, M. (2015). Benchmarking the scientific output of the Innovative Medicines Initiative. Nature Biotechnology 33 (8) pp.811-812. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3305

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Alessandra Paccamiccio | Communications & Events Officer
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Background to the bibliobmetrics report

The Thomson Reuters report presents a bibliometric analysis of IMI project research published between 2009 and 2014 associated with IMI Calls for proposals 1 to 9, and 38 IMI-funded projects. The report uses citations as an index of research quality and co-authorship as an index of collaboration. This is the sixth report commissioned by IMI. The analyses and indicators presented in the report have been specified to provide an analysis of IMI research output for research management purposes, specifically:

  • to provide bibliometric indicators to identify excellence in IMI-supported research and to benchmark this research, where possible, overall and at individual project level;
  • to show that collaboration at all levels (researcher, institutional and country), is being encouraged through the projects funded by IMI.

Outline of the report:

  • Section 1 is the executive summary.
  • Section 2 is the introduction.
  • Section 3 describes the data sources and methodology used in this report along with definitions of the indicators and guidelines to interpretation.
  • Section 4 presents analyses of IMI project publications overall, including trends in publications, frequently used journals, top research fields. Where possible IMI research is benchmarked to EU-28 research.
  • Section 5 presents citation analyses of IMI publications at the Call level, examining trends in publications, citation impact and output of individual project. Where possible the IMI projects are benchmarked to world output and overall IMI output.
  • Section 6 presents collaboration analyses for IMI publication overall and at the project level, examining collaboration between different sectors, and countries.
  • Section 7 presents analysis of IMI publications, benchmarked to similar organisations. The organisations are: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Critical Path Institute, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, Grand Challenges in Global Health, Indian Council of Medical Research, Medical Research Council (MRC), and the Wellcome Trust.

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators.

IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources.