Saturday, June 20, 2009

Need for qualitative assessment of biomedical research

Here comes a new PLoS ONE article describing one of the most authoritative analyses of the research impact - by none other than the Wellcome Trust. The research conducted by experts of the Trust summates that authoritative opinions about a published research finding constitute important benchmark of the quality of biomedical research. These data vindicate stand of the advocates of post publication peer review (and I am one humble volunteer) that modern day qualitative indicators are extremely necessary to judge the impact of biomedical research findings. Not only that this article supports and strengthens cause of the 'Faculty of 1000' but also that of PLoS ONE, although indirectly. The latter is no doubt the most successful forerunner of the idea of post-publication peer review and qualitative assessment while harnessing the web2.0 based semantic tools for such purposes. At this critical juncture, it is time for the concerned institutions to retrospect about their practices of evaluating research productivity of scientists based on bibliometric indices (such as the 'impact factor') alone.