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The use of empirical research in bioethics: a survey of researchers in twelve European countries

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medical Ethics, December 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (81st percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (66th percentile)

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16 tweeters

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21 Mendeley
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Title
The use of empirical research in bioethics: a survey of researchers in twelve European countries
Published in
BMC Medical Ethics, December 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12910-017-0239-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Tenzin Wangmo, Veerle Provoost

Abstract

The use of empirical research methods in bioethics has been increasing in the last decades. It has resulted in discussions about the 'empirical turn of bioethics' and raised questions related to the value of empirical work for this field, methodological questions about its quality and rigor, and how this integration of the normative and the empirical can be achieved. The aim of this paper is to describe the attitudes of bioethics researchers in this field towards the use of empirical research, and examine their actual conduct: whether they use empirical research methods (and if so, what methods), and whether (and how) they have made attempts at integrating the empirical and the normative. An anonymous online survey was conducted to reach scholars working in bioethics/biomedical ethics/ethics institutes or centers in 12 European countries. A total of 225 bioethics researchers participated in the study. Of those, 200 questionnaires were fully completed, representing a response rate of 42.6%. The results were analysed using descriptive statistics. Most respondents (n = 175; 87.5%) indicated that they use or have used empirical methods in their work. A similar proportion of respondents (61.0% and 59.0%) reported having had at least some training in qualitative or quantitative methods, respectively. Among the 'empirical researchers', more than a fifth (22.9%) had not received any methodological training. It appears that only 6% or less of the 'empirical researchers' considered themselves experts in the methods (qualitative or quantitative) that they have used. Only 35% of the scholars who have used empirical methods reported having integrated empirical data with normative analysis, whereas for their current projects, 59.8% plan to do so. There is a need to evaluate the current educational programs in bioethics and to implement rigorous training in empirical research methods to ensure that 'empirical researchers' have the necessary skills to conduct their empirical research in bioethics. Also imperative is clear guidance on the integration of the normative and the empirical so that researchers who plan to do so have necessary tools and competences to fulfil their goals.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 16 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 21 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 21 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 29%
Student > Master 2 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 10%
Professor 2 10%
Lecturer > Senior Lecturer 1 5%
Other 4 19%
Unknown 4 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 4 19%
Social Sciences 4 19%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 2 10%
Psychology 1 5%
Other 3 14%
Unknown 4 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 9. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 August 2018.
All research outputs
#1,836,516
of 13,376,849 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medical Ethics
#191
of 573 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#70,688
of 385,721 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medical Ethics
#23
of 69 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,376,849 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 86th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 573 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.4. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 385,721 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 69 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its contemporaries.