Abstract Eijffinger et al. [Eur. J. Pol. Econ. 18 (2002) 365] find that the research performance of the National Central Banks (NCBs) of the European System of Central Banks is inversely related to their size, or that “small is beautiful”. Their analysis is based on journal articles published by NCB researchers. In the case of the Bank of Italy, their data does not reflect the true number of papers published. Their conclusions may accordingly require modification.