Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2022, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (1): 20-36.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2022-0006

• Research Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Three-Step Workflow: A Pragmatic Approach to Allocating Academic Hospitals’ Affiliations for Bibliometric Purposes

Andrea Reyes Elizondo(), Clara Calero-Medina, Martijn S. Visser   

  1. Leiden University (Centre for Science and Technology Studies - CWTS), P.O. Box 905, Leiden 2300 AX, the Netherlands
  • Received:2021-02-16 Revised:2021-12-22 Accepted:2022-01-17 Online:2022-02-20 Published:2022-02-14
  • Contact: Andrea Reyes Elizondo


Purpose: A key question when ranking universities is whether or not to allocate the publication output of affiliated hospitals to universities. This paper presents a method for classifying the varying degrees of interdependency between academic hospitals and universities in the context of the Leiden Ranking.
Design/methodology/approach: Hospital nomenclatures vary worldwide to denote some form of collaboration with a university, however they do not correspond to universally standard definitions. Thus, rather than seeking a normative definition of academic hospitals, we propose a three-step workflow that aligns the university-hospital relationship with one of three general models: full integration of the hospital and the medical faculty into a single organization; health science centres in which hospitals and medical faculty remain separate entities albeit within the same governance structure; and structures in which universities and hospitals are separate entities which collaborate with one another. This classification system provides a standard through which publications which mention affiliations with academic hospitals can be better allocated.
Findings: In the paper we illustrate how the three-step workflow effectively translates the three above-mentioned models into two types of instrumental relationships for the assignation of publications: “associate” and “component”. When a hospital and a medical faculty are fully integrated or when a hospital is part of a health science centre, the relationship is classified as component. When a hospital follows the model of collaboration and support, the relationship is classified as associate. The compilation of data following these standards allows for a more uniform comparison between worldwide educational and research systems.
Research limitations: The workflow is resource intensive, depends heavily on the information provided by universities and hospitals, and is more challenging for languages that use non-Latin characters. Further, the application of the workflow demands a careful evaluation of different types of input which can result in ambiguity and makes it difficult to automatize.
Practical implications: Determining the type of affiliation an academic hospital has with a university can have a substantial impact on the publication counts for universities. This workflow can also aid in analysing collaborations among the two types of organizations.
Originality/value: The three-step workflow is a unique way to establish the type of relationship an academic hospital has with a university accounting for national and regional differences on nomenclature.

Key words: Academic hospitals, Universities, Bibliometrics, Organizational affiliations, Rankings