Research in the fields of medicine in Slovenia – research potential, funding, and publications

  • Stojan Pečlin
  • Primož Južnič


Background: This study analyses funding of research from public sources, research potential (number of researchers), and scientific results (scientific papers authored or co-authored by researchers from Slovenia). Research fields of medicine are analysed in-depth and comparatively with several other research fields to gain a better understanding of differences that may be a result of long-term science policies in Slovenia. The aim of the study was to discover if relatively big differences in research potential and public funding are also reflected in the number of scientific papers and their impact. Methods: Research potential was defined as the number of research groups and number of researchers (head count) and expressed in their capacities to research in FTE (full time equivalent). Research results data was analysed and evaluated basically as bibliometric data, that is, the number of papers published in ISI – indexed journals and their impact measured by the number of citations. Quantitative indicators used for the evaluation of research results were divided in two groups: indicators of scientific activities and indicators of scientific productivity and impact. We analysed investment from public sources into government and higher education sectors’ research more thoroughly as that was the research, which was the focus of our interest. Scientific papers are mostly the result of the performance in higher education sector and government sector. Results: Differences in research potential and public funding only partly influence the number of scientific papers but might have more to do with their impact. The results show that the number of papers published with the authorship or co-authorship of researchers from Slovenia is rapidly increasing, especially in the subfields of clinical medicine. Comparison of the number of papers per million inhabitants puts Slovenia slightly above the EU average, but in terms of impact or the average number of citations received per article, Slovenia is in penultimate place among EU Member States. Conclusions: The size of the human research potential in the fields of medicine in Slovenia is modest. The majority of researchers are also engaged in medical practice and education. Consequently, funds from public sources for research per researcher are low. Research fields of medicine primarly require an increase in human research resources, which can then provide a basis for a rise in funding and the impact of its research results becoming comparable to the EU and world averages.


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Pečlin S, Južnič P. Research in the fields of medicine in Slovenia – research potential, funding, and publications. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1Sep.2012 [cited 3Apr.2020];81(9). Available from:
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