Contribution of Saudi Neurosurgeons to the International Neurosurgical Literature: a Bibliometric Analysis of Trends Over the Last Three Decades

Jamjoom, Abdulhakim B, Gahtani, Abdulhadi Y, Jamjoom, Omar M, Khogeer, Yousef K, Sharab, Momen and Alzahrani, Moajeb T (2023) Contribution of Saudi Neurosurgeons to the International Neurosurgical Literature: a Bibliometric Analysis of Trends Over the Last Three Decades. Cureus, 15 (2). ISSN 2168-8184

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This review is a bibliometric analysis of the contribution of neurosurgeons from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to the international neurosurgical literature over the last three decades. The study aimed at determining changes in publication trends over time and assessing the impact of these changes on citation numbers. All publications in the PubMed-indexed neurosurgical journals that were authored by at least one Saudi neurosurgeon were selected. The articles were divided into two study groups according to publication year whether during the last decade (2011- 2020) or the previous two decades (1991- 2010). Changes in publication trends were determined by comparing the bibliometric characteristics of the articles in both groups. The impact of the changes on citation numbers was assessed by correlating the annual citation rates for the articles with their bibliometric qualities.

A total of 352 publications were suitable for the review (200 articles published during 2011- 2020, and 152 during 1991- 2010). Temporal changes in the publishing journals and first authors’ centres and regions were observed. The articles that were published in the last decade were associated with a significantly higher annual publication rate, a greater number of authors, centres, and countries, and a larger sample size compared to those published in the previous two decades. They also had a lower percentage of Saudi total and first authorship as well as a smaller proportion of case reports. The annual citation rate was significantly impacted by the duration from publication, sample size, and study type during both study periods. However, only during the last decade, the annual citation rate was positively influenced by the journal’s impact factor, number of authors, centres, countries, and percentage of Saudi authorship.

We conclude that KSA neurosurgeons’ contribution to international neurosurgical journals had increased considerably over the last decade. The publications were authored by neurosurgeons from a wider range of centres and regions than in the past. A bigger portion of publications had become more multi-authored, multi-centred, and multi-national as well as reported larger sample sizes and lesser rates of case reports. The changes in publication trends correlated positively with the articles’ annual citation rates. The findings could be considered encouraging.

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