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

Elizabeth Y. Zhu, Shai Shemesh, James C. Iatridis, Calin S. Moucha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The assessment of scholarly productivity assumes a strong role in evaluating faculty in academic orthopaedic surgery. The investigators examine the association between scholarly impact, as measured by the h-index, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in orthopaedic surgery. Orthopaedic surgery faculty from 20 randomly chosen departments that received NIH-funding were compared to non-NIH funded faculty from the same departments. Faculty members in orthopaedic surgery departments who received NIH funding had higher scholarly impact as measured by h-index than their non-funded peers (h = 11.98 versus 4.45; p < 0.0001). This relationship holds across academic ranks, terminal degrees, and institutions. Investigators with higher academic rank had higher scholarly impact (h = assistant 3.29 versus associate 5.12 versus full professor 7.94; p < 1 × 10-7) as well as higher NIH-funding (assistant $16,580 versus associate $26,368 versus full professor $113,129; p < 1 × 10-7). Increasing individual NIH funding is correlated with elevated scholarly impact (β = 4.64; p < 0.0001). Increasing total departmental NIH funding is correlated to increased departmental scholarly impact (β = 1.04; p < 0.0001). The h-index is strongly associated with NIH funding, academic rank, and sole PhD holding faculty. Increasing scholarly impact is also correlated with higher NIH funding. The h-index is an objective and easily calculable measure of assessing individual research productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of the Hospital for Joint Disease (2013)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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