Global cardiovascular research output, citations, and collaborations

A time-trend, bibliometric analysis (1999–2008)

Citation: Huffman MD, Baldridge A, Bloomfield GS, Colantonio LD, Prabhakaran P, et al. (2013) Global Cardiovascular Research Output, Citations, and Collaborations: A Time-Trend, Bibliometric Analysis (1999–2008). PLoS ONE 8(12): e83440. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083440
Published: December 31, 2013

Introduction: Health research is one mechanism to improve population-level health and should generally match the health needs of populations. However, there have been limited data to assess the trends in national-level cardiovascular research output, even as cardiovascular disease [CVD] has become the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
Materials and Methods: We performed a time trends analysis of cardiovascular research publications (1999–2008) downloaded from Web of Knowledge using a iteratively-tested cardiovascular bibliometric filter with >90% precision and recall. We evaluated cardiovascular research publications, five-year running actual citation indices [ACIs], and degree of international collaboration measured through the ratio of the fractional count of addresses from one country against all addresses for each publication.
Results and Discussion: Global cardiovascular publication volume increased from 40 661 publications in 1999 to 55 284 publications in 2008, which represents a 36% increase. The proportion of cardiovascular publications from high-income, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] countries declined from 93% to 84% of the total share over the study period. High-income, OECD countries generally had higher fractional counts, which suggest less international collaboration, than lower income countries from 1999–2008. There was an inverse relationship between cardiovascular publications and age-standardized CVD morbidity and mortality rates, but a direct, curvilinear relationship between cardiovascular publications and Human Development Index from 1999–2008.
Conclusions: Cardiovascular health research output has increased substantially in the past decade, with a greater share of citations being published from low- and middle-income countries. However, low- and middle-income countries with the higher burdens of cardiovascular disease continue to have lower research output than high-income countries, and thus require targeted research investments to improve cardiovascular health.

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