The MRC/Wits dental research Institute: its publication record 1954-2004.
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All 625 scientific papers published by the Dental Research Institute (DRI) during its life between 1954 and 2004 were examined and categorized according to publishing journal, article content and author, with the aim of obtaining information on research collaboration, quality, productivity and author representivity. Currently, 11% of authors are from disadvantaged backgrounds and 32% are women. Collaborators make up half of co-authors and presently are South African academics (31%) or from the associated dental school (19%). In the period 1985-1994, 28% of collaborators were from abroad. Research quality as assessed by journal impact factor, experimental method, research design and ethical protocols shows improving scientific rigour, adherence to international scientific standards and publication in well-regarded journals. This analysis provides a unique opportunity to assess research output against the challenging and changing backdrop of the local and global dental research environment. In addition, this is the first detailed record of a South African research entity which jointly reflects both university and statutory body research trends over 50 years. In this alone, the DRI database provides a unique historical record that shows how the institute has been transformating for the past half-century.
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