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Release: March 24, 1999

Iowa is highly productive in terms of published biomedical research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Based on its population, Iowa is highly productive in terms of published biomedical research, according to an Oklahoma researcher who submitted his findings to the New England Journal of Medicine.

In a letter to the editor in the March 11 issue of the journal, Dennis F. Thompson, a researcher at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, analyzed the number of research publications from 1990-1997 listed in Medline by individual states. Medline is the National Library of Medicine's premier database, covering the fields of medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine, the health care system and preclinical sciences.

Using the Medline numbers, as well as population figures from the U.S. Bureau of Census, Thompson estimated the average number of Medline publications per 100,000 population per year for the United States.

He found that Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington and Vermont were the most productive states per capita, each with more than 50 publications per 100,000 population.

"The majority of Medline citations from Iowa can be attributed to the University of Iowa and, specifically, to biomedical researchers in the College of Medicine," said Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the college. "This letter to the journal reinforces what we have known all along -- we have an extremely talented and prolific group of faculty, research scientists and support staff dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding in the health sciences."

Medline contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 3,900 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 foreign countries. The database holds about 9 million records dating back to 1966.