Financial support for research in otolaryngology

Rick M. Odland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: This project describes the use of computer-assisted searches of medical literature in an attempt to track the prevalence and type of funding of medical research. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: The study is a computer-assisted observational survey at the medical literature. To establish a database and track funding trends, a computer-assisted Medline search (CAMS) of the literature from 1986 to 1991 and 1992 to August 1996 was undertaken for 3 areas of interest: (1) sources of support, (2) comparison with other specialties, and (3) the validity of CAMS. A journal-based search examined the field of otolaryngology, which includes all the head and neck related sciences, and an institution-based search examined the clinical specialty of otolaryngology. RESULTS: By selected journal search, the field of otolaryngology has about one-third funding (34% of 20,751 papers), and about one-half of that is supported by the National Institutes of Health. This proportion of federal support increased over time. By institution line search, the specialty of otolaryngology is less well funded (26% of 15,480 papers) as might be expected. However, in contrast to basic sciences, there is a trend of decreased funding over the 11-year period of the study. SIGNIFICANCE: It appears that while the field of otolaryngology (basic scientists and clinicians) may be enjoying increasing support of research, the clinical specialty of otolaryngology is among the many specialties that exhibit a trend of decreasing level of NIH support. CONCLUSIONS: Computer-assisted surveys are an effective method of tracking funding for research in otolaryngology and other specialties. CAMS may be a valuable tool for monitoring efforts for improve funding resources for otolaryngology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Some authors have suggested that funding is greater than noted because funded authors report in other journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. This reporting out of specialty would have no effect on the CAMS institution-based search, but could affect the results of manual searches or the CAMS journal-based search. This hypothesis was tested with another review of articles that cite National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) funding. Using CAMS, NIDCD funding can be identified by grant number. All articles from grants with more than 5 citations were studied to see where these articles were published (Table 6). Most NIDCD-funded work was published in hearing-related journals.


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