Medical speciality research in Saudi Arabia: A bibliometric assessment of productivity and worldwide ranking

Journal of Health Specialties. 2017;5(1):23-29 DOI 10.4103/2468-6360.198795


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Journal Title: Journal of Health Specialties

ISSN: 2468-6360 (Print); 2321-6298 (Online)

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications

Society/Institution: Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Medicine (General)

Country of publisher: India

Language of fulltext: English

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Abdulhakim B Jamjoom


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Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify the medical specialities that had a positive relative contribution to scientific productivity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) over the last two decades and to determine the influence of their contribution on KSA worldwide ranking in these specialities. Methods: SCImago Journal and Country Rank was used to determine KSA's ranking in 46 medical specialities during 1996-2014 based on four productivity indices. Relative Specialisation Index (RSI) was calculated for each speciality. Specialities with RSI >0 were defined as the positive relative contribution specialities in KSA. They were compared with the remaining specialities using a number of parameters that were examined statistically. Results: The median KSA ranking in 46 specialities was 42 for total documents, 43 for total cites, 79 for citations per document and 44 for h-index. Fourteen (30%) specialities were designated as the positive relative contribution specialities in KSA. These were ophthalmology, medicine (miscellaneous), paediatrics, complementary medicine, clinical genetics, clinical biochemistry, transplantation, surgery, infectious disease, nephrology, pulmonology, epidemiology, otolaryngology and anaesthesiology. Being a positive relative contribution speciality in KSA was not influenced by the nature of speciality or by having its own Saudi journal; however, it was associated with a significantly higher KSA ranking based on total documents, total cites and h-index but not based on citations per document. Conclusions: Medical speciality contribution to research productivity in KSA was not influenced by the speciality having a Saudi journal. Positive relative contribution specialities had a significant impact on KSA ranking in three out of the four indices. KSA's medical specialities were ranked relatively low based on citations per document. KSA researchers of all medical disciplines should be encouraged to publish quality research in local and international journals.