Patient-Oriented Research publication classification/bibliometric project

In Canada, almost half a billion dollars has been invested in a national Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR). Traditionally, health research was often done without the input of patients and families. The SPOR strategy is intended to transform change so that research is conducted “with” or “by” the patients and public instead of being “about,” “for,” or “on” them. But how do we know the strategy is working and having its intended impact? To do that it helps to know where we started from – what’s the baseline?

What is the Patient-Oriented Research Classification and Bibliometrics project?

The project is an exploratory study initiated by Alberta Innovates to examine the feasibility of:

  • classifying patient-oriented research (POR) publications as a way to understand how POR has been conducted and communicated in the scientific literature, and
  • identify or develop a mechanism (e.g., a keyword search strategy) that could be used to find and assess POR publications in a standard way moving forward.

This multi-phased study involves a number of steps. The methodological details of the project will be summarized in a soon-to-be-posted infographic.

Why did we do it?

Currently, no POR classification system or search mechanism exists to facilitate easy identification and retrieval of POR literature. Such a mechanism is required to do bibliometrics: a method to examine trends in research activity and output – a common means of establishing or measuring baseline.

There is a lack of a common language to describe POR, which contributes to problems identifying it in scientific outputs (e.g., publications). Further, without a common POR language, researchers and stakeholders will continue to be challenged understanding the benefits that can be derived from POR and demonstrating the value of POR investments.

Results of this project aim to address these challenges by identifying and examining POR literature so we better understand what it looks like in practice and how it is communicated. The intent of this project is to share insights with the research community to help inform a common language and, if successful, subsequently facilitate easier retrieval and assessment of POR in future so questions about evidence and value can be more easily answered.

Who’s involved

This project would not be possible without the support of an international working group that includes representatives from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Patient-Centred Outcomes Research Institute, UberResearch and the University of Alberta.

Next steps

This multi-phased project is now in its final phase and is approximately 80 per cent complete. Results will be posted to AbSPORU once available – check back for updates.

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Project leads

Shannon Cunningham – POR publication classification/bibliometric project