Assessment of Research Productivity of Arab Countries in the Field of Infectious Diseases using Web of Science Database

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 4:2
Year of Publication: 
2015
Authors: 
Ansam F Sawalha
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Current Affiliation: 
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Alaeddin Abuzanat
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Sa'ed H Zyoud
Department of Clinical and Community Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Waleed M Sweileh
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Adham S AbuTaha
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Samah W Al-Jabi
Department of Clinical and Community Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Mustafa A Ghanim
Department of Biochemistry and Genetics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

Background

To meet the future challenges of infectious diseases and limit the spread of multidrug resistant microorganisms, a better understanding of published studies in the field of infectious diseases is needed. The objective of this study was to analyze the quantity and quality of research activity in the field of infectious diseases in Arab countries and compare it with that in non-Arab countries.

Methods

Documents published in Arab countries within the research category of ?infectious diseases? were extracted and analyzed using the Web of Science database. The data analyzed represent research productivity during the time interval between 1900 ? 2012.

Results

Worldwide, the total number of documents published in the field of infectious diseases up to 2012 was 227,188. A total of 2,408 documents in the field of infectious diseases were published in Arab countries, which represents 1.06% of worldwide research output. Research output from Arab countries in the field of infectious diseases was low for decades. However, approximately a five-fold increase was observed in the past decade. Arab countries ranked 56th to 218th on the standard competition ranking (SCR) in worldwide publications in the field of infectious diseases. Egypt, with a total publication of 464 (19.27%) documents ranked first among Arab countries, while Kuwait University was the most productive institution with a total of 158 (6.56%) documents. Average citation per document published in Arab countries was 13.25 and the h-index was 64. Tuberculosis (230; 9.55%), malaria (223; 9.26%), and hepatitis (189; 7.8%) were the top three infectious diseases studied as according to the retrieved documents.

Conclusion

The present data reveals that some Arab countries contribute significantly to the field of infectious diseases. However, Arab countries need to work harder to bridge the gap in this field. Compared with non-Arab countries in the Middle East, research output from Arab countries was high, but more efforts are needed to enhance the quality of this output. Future research in the field should be encouraged and correctly directed.

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