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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01228

Importance of quality assessment in clinical research in Japan

 Rieko Ueda1,  Yuji Nishizaki1*, Yasuhiro Homma1, Shoji Sanada2, Toshiaki Otsuka3, Shinji Yasuno4,  Kotone Matsuyama3, Naotake Yanagisawa1, Masashi Nagao1, Kazutoshi Fujibayashi1, Shuko Nojiri1, Yumiko Seo1, Natsumi Yamada1,  Patrick Devos5 and Hiroyuki Daida1
  • 1Juntendo University, Japan
  • 2Osaka University Hospital, Japan
  • 3Nippon Medical School, Japan
  • 4Jikei University School of Medicine, Japan
  • 5Lille Catholic University, France

Background: The number of papers published by an institution is acknowledged as an easy-to-understand research outcome. However, the quantity as well as the quality of research papers needs to be assessed.
Methods: To determine the relation between the number of published papers and paper quality, a survey was conducted to assess publications focusing on interventional clinical trials reported by 11 core clinical research hospitals. A score was calculated for each paper using Système d’interrogation, de gestionet d’analyse des publications scientifiques scoring system, allowing for a clinical paper quality assessment independent of the field. Paper quality was defined as the relative Journal impact factor (IF) total score/number of papers.
Results: We surveyed 580 clinical trial papers. For each of the 11 medical institutions (a–k), respectively, the following was found: number of published papers: a:66, b:64, c:61, d:56, e:54, f:51, g:46, h:46, i:46, j:45, k:45 (median: 51, maximum: 66, minimum: 45); total Journal IF: a:204, b:252, c:207, d:225, e:257, f:164, g:216, h:190, i:156, j:179, k:219 (median: 207, maximum: 156, minimum: 257); relative Journal IF total score: a:244, b:272, c:260, d:299, e:268, f:215, g:225, h:208, i:189, j:223, k:218 (median: 225, maximum: 189, minimum: 299); and paper quality (relative Journal IF total score/number of papers): a:3.70, b:4.25, c:4.26, d:5.34, e:4.96, f:4.22, g:4.89, h:4.52, i:4.11, j:4.96, k:4.84 (median: 4.52, maximum: 3.70, minimum: 5.34). Additionally, no significant relation was found between the number of published papers and paper quality (correlation coefficient, −0.33, P = 0.32).
Conclusions: The number of published papers does not correspond to paper quality. When assessing institutions’ ability to perform clinical research, an assessment of paper quality should be included along with the number of published papers.

Keywords: Clinical Trial, Core clinical research hospital, journal impact factor (journal IF), quality assessment, SIGAPS

Received: 18 Jul 2019; Accepted: 23 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Ueda, Nishizaki, Homma, Sanada, Otsuka, Yasuno, Matsuyama, Yanagisawa, Nagao, Fujibayashi, Nojiri, Seo, Yamada, Devos and Daida. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD. Yuji Nishizaki, Juntendo University, Bunkyō, Tōkyō, Japan,