Biomedical Publications Profile and Trends in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries

Almundher Al-Maawali, Ahmed Al Busadi, Samir Al-Adawi

Abstract


Objectives: There is a dearth of studies examining the relationship between research output and other socio-demographic indicators in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). The three interrelated aims of this study were, first, to ascertain the number of biomedical publications in the GCC from 1970 to 2010; second, to establish the rate of publication according population size during the same period and, third, to gauge the relationship between the number of publications and specific socio-economic parameters. Methods: The Medline database was searched in October 2010 by affiliation, year and publication type from 1970 to 2010. Data obtained were normalised to the number of publications per million of the population, gross domestic product, and the number of physicians in each country. Results: The number of articles from the GCC region published over this 40 year period was 25,561. Saudi Arabia had the highest number followed by Kuwait, UAE, and then Oman. Kuwait had the highest profile of publication when normalised to population size, followed by Qatar. Oman is the lowest in this ranking. Overall, the six countries showed a rising trend in publication numbers with Oman having a significant increase from 1990 to 2005. There was a significant relationship between the number of physicians and the number of publications. Conclusion: The research productivity from GGC has experienced complex and fluctuating growth in the past 40 years. Future prospects for increasing research productivity are discussed with particular reference to the situation in Oman.



Keywords


Publications; Oman; Gulf Cooperation Council; Arabian peninsula; Biomedical research.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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