Scientific funding organisations are increasingly being asked to justify their expenditure. For biomedical agencies this ultimately means demonstrating an improvement in healthcare. However, this is particularly problematic because of the complex relationship between research and its incorporation into new treatments. Using clinical guidelines, a new method to follow and quantify the progress of knowledge from biomedical research into clinical practice is proposed. As a pilot study, the bibliographic details of the evidence cited on three clinical guidelines were collated. These references were then standardised and the papers located in various libraries. The identities of the funding bodies supporting these papers were determined. The study demonstrated that the scientific basis of clinical guidelines may be examined using bibliometric techniques of funding source data. This provides a way for funding organisations to measure the impact or output of their funded research on effective, evidence-based medicine.

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