Neurology Research in Saudi Arabia : Urgent call for action

Hussein Algahtani, Bader Shirah, Faisal Boker, Albaraa Algamdi, Abdulah Alkahtani

Abstract


Objectives: Research activities in Saudi Arabia are promoted at the governmental and institutional levels. However, the output and quality of research conducted in the field of neurology has not yet been measured quantitatively. This study therefore aimed to analyse neurology-related publications from Saudi Arabia. Methods: This study was conducted in January 2016. A systematic search using the PubMed® search engine (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) was conducted to identify all neurology-related articles published from Saudi Arabia between January 1996 and December 2015. Results: A total of 1,292 neurologyrelated publications were identified. Neurology research increased linearly with time, with most publications originating from Riyadh (67%) and the university sector (≈47%). However, most neurology-related articles were published in journals which had an impact factor of <1 (55%). Conclusion: Neurology research in Saudi Arabia has increased substantially over the last 20 years. However, as most articles were published in low-impact journals, the quality of research remains inadequate and should be improved. It is important that an official research culture be established in both governmental and private universities as well as colleges and health institutions in Saudi Arabia. The formation of clinical academic departments staffed by research experts is recommended to ensure the quality of neurology research output.



Keywords


Neurology; Research; Publications; Journal Impact Factor; Saudi Arabia.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2017.17.03.011

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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

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