The association between scholarly impact and national institutes of health funding in ophthalmology

Peter F. Svider, Santiago A. Lopez, Qasim Husain, Neelakshi Bhagat, Jean Anderson Eloy, Paul D. Langer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objective To examine whether there is an association between scholarly impact, as measured by the h-index, academic rank, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards in academic ophthalmology. Design Retrospective analysis of NIH RePORTER and Scopus databases. Participants Not applicable. Methods Five hundred seventy-three NIH awards to 391 primary investigators (PIs) in ophthalmology departments were examined. Grant recipients were organized by academic rank, obtained from online listings, and h-index, calculated using the Scopus database. Non-NIH-funded faculty from 20 randomly chosen academic ophthalmology departments also were organized by rank and h-index for comparison with their NIH-funded colleagues. Main Outcome Measures Scholarly impact, as measured by the h-index, and NIH funding. Results The h-index increased with successive academic rank among non-NIH-funded and NIH-funded faculty, as did NIH funding among the latter group. The NIH-funded faculty had higher scholarly impact, as measured by the h-index, than their non-NIH-funded PIs (h = 18.3 vs. 7.8; P < 0.0001), even when considering publications only in the prior 5 years; h-index increased with increasing NIH funding ranges. The h-indices of those holding an MD degree (21.4±1.6 standard error of mean) were not statistically higher than those of PhD holders (17.9±0.6) and those with both an MD and PhD degree (18.1±1.7; P = 0.14). Conclusions The h-index increases with increasing academic rank among NIH-funded and non-NIH-funded faculty in ophthalmology departments. This bibliometric is associated strongly with NIH funding because NIH-funded PIs had higher scholarly impact than their non-NIH-funded colleagues, and increasing impact was noted with higher funding. The h-index is an objective and easily calculable measure that may be valuable as an adjunct in assessing research productivity, a significant factor for academic promotion in academic ophthalmology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-428
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'The association between scholarly impact and national institutes of health funding in ophthalmology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this