A bibliometric analysis of global Zika research

Added May 11, 2017

Read the full review here

While there has been an explosion in the number of articles on Zika published recently, there is still a relative dearth of articles on this topic, plus an urgent need to translate findings into practice.

Since the first recording of Zika virus in Uganda in 1947 to the latest outbreaks in the Americas, there have been numerous articles published with a particular spike from 2012 onwards.

The aim of this analysis is to assess the impact on publication trends and to map the spread of publications globally. Of the 325 articles retrieved, the geographical spread of publication source varied depending on the database used, but Uganda is the source of most of the papers (14.4% of the total). The number of articles published has increased significantly since 2014, from an average of 0.9 articles annually in Medline before, and then 22 articles in Medline alone in 2014, with 46.7% of all articles published 2010-2015. The high citation rate of some articles (60 and 54 for the 2 most highly cited articles) prompts the authors to suggest a need to increase international cooperation to overcome the perceived weakness in research networks. The US and Southern Pacific countries have increased their research output.

The full search strategy is not presented, and the data may be incomplete owing to neither SciELO nor LILACs being searched. The amount of duplication of results between databases is not made clear, so the analysis of “database with the highest number of articles” might be flawed.