An analysis of the productivity and impact of clinical PhD theses from the University of Copenhagen

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INTRODUCTION: The scientific outcome of Health Science PhD theses has been questioned by arguments suggesting that strategic motives are important for graduation among clinical PhD graduates which may compromise scientific output and quality. This study aimed to investigate the scientific outcome of clinical PhD theses. METHODS: A total of 841 PhD theses from the Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, were concluded in 2013-2017. These theses were examined, and all published manuscripts were identified in online databases. Thesis bibliographics, publication activity and article/journal impact of the published manuscripts were obtained between 21 March and 18 September 2019. RESULTS: Overall, 2,845 manuscripts were embedded in the theses (3.4 ± 0.8 manuscripts/thesis, mean ± standard deviation). A total of 56% and 92% of the manuscripts were published at the time of thesis submission and observation, respectively. The SCImago Journal Rank was 2.1 ± 1.7 and 82% of the manuscripts were published in journals with a field-specific ranking in the best quartile. The mean field-weighted citation impact of the published manuscripts was 102% higher than the world average. CONCLUSIONS: The scientific outcome of clinical PhD theses was high as 92% of all manuscripts were published with a field-weighted journal ranking and citation impact above the world average, indicating that the productivity and quality of the clinical PhD theses are not compromised even though strategic motives is a driver for graduation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA12190731
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 244654851