International Journal of
Library and Information Science

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Lib. Inf. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2537
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJLIS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 236

Full Length Research Paper

Scientific-publication contributions of Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine indexed in PubMed between 2000 and 2014: A comparative bibliometric analysis

Doaa K. El-Berry
  • Doaa K. El-Berry
  • Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Arts, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 11 October 2015
  •  Accepted: 27 November 2015
  •  Published: 31 January 2016

 ABSTRACT

Bibliometric analysis of PubMed publications is aquantitative indicator for research productivity of scientific institutions. The current study aimed to quantitatively analyze and compare the research publications productivity of the Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine published between 2000 and 2014 in PubMed-indexed journals.  Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine produced together 710 articles.  According to their contributions to the total productivity, the 15 Egyptian faculties were ranked as follow; Cairo on the top followed by Assiut, Mansura, Zagazig, Alexandria, Benha, Suez Canal, Beni-Suef, Kafr El-Sheikh, South Valley, Menoufia, Damanhur, Sohag, Aswan and Minia.Cairo, Assiut and Mansura produced more than 52% of total publications, while Aswan and Minia had no publication contribution during the study period. The productivity of most faculties showed a fluctuation pattern (no specific pattern of an increase or decrease), however when the study years were grouped into periods of 5 years each, it was found that most of the faculties presented a progressive increase during the periods 2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2009 and 2010 to 2014.  Most faculties have their publications with the first author affiliated to them. Authorship pattern analysis revealed that the multiple authorship trends were dominated over the single ones.  Multiple-authored papers had two, three, four, five or more contributors. Department’s contributions were relatively diverse from faculty to another and some departments were not represented in faculty publications.  In the current study, the PubMed research output of the faculties of veterinary medicine was quantitatively analyzed. The future study will focus on the qualitative analysis of the PubMed publications of these faculties using the journal impact factor and citation count.

Key words: Bibliometric analysis, PubMed publications, veterinary medicine, Egypt


 INTRODUCTION

Egypt is a Middle East and Arab-African country with about 90 million populations; most of them live on the sides of the Nile River.  The veterinary medicine research is mostly related to basic and clinical sciences of domestic animals, birds and fish.  The veterinary medical sciences help human health through the monitoring and  control of zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans. Egypt has 23 public universities and 15 of them include faculties of veterinary medicine. The faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt from the oldest to the newest are Cairo (1954), Assiut (1961), Zagazig (1969), Alexandria (1974), Benha (1981), Beni-Suef (1982), Suez Canal (1985), Kafr El-Sheikh (1985), Mansura (1994), South Valley (1995), Menoufia (1997), Damanhur (2007), Sohag (2008), Aswan (2012) and Minia (2013). There are 19 common depart-ments which do teaching and research programs related to most of the Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine. These departments are Anatomy, Histology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Animal Nutation, Animal Medicine, Animal Surgery, Animal Behavior, Animal Hygiene, Pharmacology, Parasitology, Microbiology, Pathology, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Clinical Laboratory Diagnosis, Poultry Diseases, Zoonotic Diseases, Fish Diseases, Food Hygiene and Theriogenology. 

There is one common department for Histology and Anatomy subjects in some faculties such as Cairo, Assiut, Mansura, Alexandria and Benha. There are unique departments in some faculties such as the department of Avian and Aquatic Medicine in Alexandria, the department of Veterinary Public Heath in Zagazig, and Animal Wealth and Development in Benha.  Virology, which is a branch of Microbiology, is an independent department in some faculties such as Cairo, Mansura and Zagazig.  According to the SCImago Journal and Country Rank in the period between 1996 and 2013, Egypt was the third of the Middle East and the thirsty second of the world in veterinary research’ publications (http://www.scimagojr.com). The field of library and information science is concerned with the classification and organization of information using many tools of analyses such as bibliometric analysis.  Bibliometric analysis is defined as the mathematical and statistical methods used to analyze and measure the quantity and quality of research publications (Pritchar, 1969; Ziegler, 2009).

To measure and analyze the scientific progress of a scientific institution or country, bibliometric analyses commonly use quantitative and qualitative indicators.  The quantitative indicator includes the research productivity or output, which is based on the total publications through a specific period. Qualitative indicator measures the quality or impact of the research, which is based on citation analysis and Journal impact factor. veterinary medical sciences are covered in many indexing databases such as PubMed, Web of knowledge, Scopus, Google Scholar and Biological Abstracts (Jacso, 2005), but there is no a local database for the Egyptian veterinary research publication can be trusted.  PubMed is a free database containing over 24 million citations to articles in biomedical journals and considered a primary tool for searching the biomedical articles (Lu, 2011). The PubMed   was   developed  and  maintained  by  the  U.S.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed). 

Bibliometric analysis of articles published in PubMed-indexed Journal is a quantitative indicator of the research productivity of countries, regions and institutions (Tutarel, 2002). Bibliometric data are frequently used in many fields of medical research in Arab countries (Dakik, 2006, Afifi, 2007; Benamer et al., 2009; Helal et al., 2014; Zyoud et al., 2014; Sweileh et al., 2015; Sweileh et al., 2015). 

However, to this study best knowledge, there is no international bibliometric study evaluating Veterinary research outcome from either Egyptian or any other Arab scientific institution has been carried out.  Thus, the current study aimed to analyze and compare 15 years (2000 to 2014) period of PubMed-indexed publications produced by authors affiliated to the different Egyptian faculties of veterinary Medicine.


 METHODOLOGY

Publication data retrieving from the PubMed database as described below, is reliable and widely used by many authors (Benamer et al., 2009; Helal et al., 2014). PubMed database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) was searched within an hour limit on 4 May, 2015.  The search words were faculty of Veterinary Medicine and either Cairo,  Assiut, Zagazig, Mansura, Alexandria, Benha, Suez Canal, Beni-Suef, Kafr El-Sheikh, South Valley, Damanhur, Sohag, Aswan or Minia University.  Articles came out from PubMed search was exported into the author E-mail and printed out for hand searching and further analysis.  Further confirmation of the faculty affiliation was done by checking the address of authors of each article.  All articles were reviewed one by one and papers not related to faculties of veterinary medicine of Egyptian Universities or those published before 2000 or after 2014 were excluded. The total publications of Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine on PubMed were calculated in 15 years (2000 to 2014) and then the publications from different faculties were analyzed and compared on the principles of the following:

1. Faculty contributions to the total publication.

2. Correlation between faculty publication and its establishment old.

3. Year wise PubMed publication distribution.

4. First authorship trend.

5. Authorship pattern.

6. Proportion of single-authored papers against multi-authored ones.

7. Degree of collaboration in veterinary research. Degree of author collaboration from different faculties was determined in quantitative terms by using the formula given by another study (Subramanyam, 1983). The formula is C = NM/NS+NM.  C = Degree of collaboration, NM = Number of multi-authored papers and NS = Number of single-authored papers.

8. Department’s contribution to the total publication output of each Faculty.  Although some articles have no department affiliation, the study made an effort to identify the department of the authors through their personal faculty pages and Google Scholar website.


 RESULTS

The PubMed search for publications affiliated to the Egyptian faculties of Veterinary Medicine revealed that the total productions between 2000 and 2014 were 710 articles.  Only 14% of these publications (100/710) were produced in the period 2000 to 2004, which increased to 23.7% (168/710) and 62.5% (444/710) in the periods 2005 to 2009 and 2010 to 2014 respectively.

Faculty contributions in PubMed publications

Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine were ranked according to their total PubMed publications.  Cairo had the largest number of publications during the period between 2000 and 2014 (210/710), followed by Assiut (90/710), Mansura (73/710), Zagazig (71/710), Alexandria (62), Benha (51/710), Suez Canal (54/710), Beni-Suef (43/710), Khafr EL-Sheikh (31/710), South Valley (21/710), Damanhour (10/710), Sohag (3/710), Menoufia (2/710), Aswan (0/710) and Minia (0/710). The percentages of contribution of each faculty to the total publications are shown in Figure 1.  Interestingly Cairo, Assiut, and Mansura together produced more than 52% of the total publications of the 15 faculties studied. There was a strong linear correlation between the oldness of the faculty and its total publications; r= 0.86, as shown in Figure 2.

Year wise distribution of faculty publications

The yearly changes of publication productivity from the studied faculties showed the presence of a fluctuations pattern; no specific patterns of increases or declines were found (Figure 3).

Period-wise distribution of faculty publications

When the years were grouped into three 5-years periods, it was found that percentages of publication contribution of most faculties were the lowest in the period of 2000 to 2004, then increased in the period of 2005 to 2009 and reached the highest contribution percentages in the period 2010 to 2014 (Figure 4). Only Suez Canal showed a decline during the period 2005 to 2009.  Some faculties such as Beni-Suef, South Valley, Damanhour and Sohag begun to publish in the PubMed-indexed journals in the period 2010 to 2014, while Menoufia published only two articles; one in the period 2000 to 2004 and one in the period 2010 to 2014 with no publications in the period 2005 to 2009 comparing the rate of change (increase or decline) between periods; 2005 to 2009 versus 2000 to 2004 (comparison 1), 2010 to 2014 versus 2004 to 2009 (comparison 2) and 2010 to2014 versus 2000 to 2004 (comparison 3). It was shown that the publication number from most faculties showed different rates of increases in the mentioned period comparisons, however, Suez Canal and Sohag showed a decline in the comparison 1 (Table 1).

First authorship trend

It was found that majority of publications of every faculty of veterinary medicine had the 1st author affiliated to such faculty.  Percentages of articles with 1st author were 81.4 (Cairo), 90 (Assiut), 93.2 (Mansura), 81.7 (Zagazig), 91.9 (Alexandria), 96.1 (Benha), 73.1 (Suez Canal), 88.4 (Beni-Suef), 93.5 (Kafr El-Sheikh), 81 (South Valley), 60 (Damanhour), 66.7 (Sohag) and 100% (Menoufia).

Authorship patterns

The number of authors of each publication was counted and the percentage of each category was calculated.  Number of authors in publications was different from single, two, three, four, five or more than five authors with different frequency in studied faculties. Single-authored papers was most frequent in publications related to Damanhour (20%), two-authored papers was the highest in Alexandria (30.6%), three-authored papers was mostly produced by Assiut (31.1%) after Sohag (33.3), four-authored papers showed the highest percentage in publications from Cairo (26.2%), five-authored papers were highest in publications from Benha (15.7%), however Beni-Suef (30.2) after Menoufia (100%) produced publications mostly with more than five authors (Table 2).

Degree of author collaboration

The finding of this study revealed that there are more papers by multi-authors than by singles, thus the colla-borative research has been preferred by the scientists over that of solitary research.  Degrees of collaboration were high and ranged between 0.8 and 1.0. The degrees of collaboration in publications calculated for different faculties were recorded in Table 3.

Department contributions in faculty publications

Categorization of department was conducted according to the consultation of subject expert and arranged in Table 4.  It is observed that the publications related to the faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt covered some but not all faculty departments. The departments contributed with different proportions in publications related to each faculty (Table 4). The highest contributing departments were Pharmacology in Cairo (37.5%), Theriogenology in Assiut (28.9%), Animal Medicine (24.7%), Mansura, Animal Medicine and pathology in Zagazig (14.1% each), Parasitology in Benha (21.6%), Histology in Alexandria (16.1%), Pharmacology in Suez Canal (20%), Virology in Beni-Suef (26.8), Theriogenology in Kafr El-Sheikh (22.6), Pathology in South Valley (28.6%) and Anatomy and Pathology (30% each) in Damanhour. Three departments in Sohag produced three papers (33.3% each); Histology, Parasitology and Animal Medicine, while two departments (Poultry diseases and Animal Medicine) in Menoufia published two papers (50% each).

 

 

 

 


 DISCUSSION

Bibliometric analysis is an important indicator for quantification of the scientific institution performance and ranking. The current study was carried out to do a bibliometric comparative assessment of the scientific contributions of the Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine published in PubMed-indexed Journal in the period between 2000 and 2014.  The PubMed database was chosen due to it is the simplest and most powerful free tool for retrieval of biomedical publications (Tadmouri and Tadmouri, 2002; Falagas et al., 2008).

The study revealed that the total PubMed-indexed publications from the Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine were 710 papers. This number is relatively low when compared to the research from the faculties of medicine in Egypt. Mansura faculty of medicine, for example, produced about 1765 PubMed-indexed paper during 2012 and earlier. It is may be acceptable that the accurate number of the total Egyptian publications from the faculties of veterinary medicine is more than 710,  as many researchers publish in non-PubMed-indexed local Journals and some of them may have only printable with no internet access. More than 60% of biomedical researches in Africa are published in local non-indexed Journal (Gaillard, 1992).

The current study showed that in the period 2000 to 2004, veterinary medical research output from the Egyptian faculties was 100 papers increased to 168 in the period 2005 to 2009 and reached 444 papers in the period 2010 to 2014.  In previous bibliometric studies, it was found that the total biomedical publication output affiliated to Egypt and indexed in PubMed was 16835 papers between 1991 and 2010 (Zeeneldin et al., 2012) and 1180 between 2001 and 2005 (Benamer and Bakoush, 2009). Furthermore, Egypt contribution to the world’s biomedical publications increased from 0.09% in 1996 to 0.14% in 2006 (Afifi, 2007).

The   current  study  found  that  Cairo  had  the  largest number of publications, followed by Assiut, Mansura, Zagazig, Alexandria, BeniSuef, Suez Canal, Kafr El-Sheikh, South Valley, Damanhour, Sohag and Menoufia faculties of veterinary medicine, while Aswan and Minia had no publications on PubMed between 2000 and 2014.  That is not surprising; at least for the most of the faculties, ranking according to their total publications was correlated to the old –year of establishment as confirmed by the strong linear relation between the oldness of the faculties and their total publication. Earlier established faculties are supposed to have a better scientific environment and infrastructure along with a large number of academic staffs producing relatively more publications than recently established faculties.

Mansura (ranked the 3rd in publication criteria) was out of this expectation, as it is relatively recent to other faculties came later in publication-based ranking. This ranking of faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt according to their PubMed publications doesn’t mean the same for the quality of the research (impact or importance). Menoufia was also out of this as it publish only 2 papers however it is the same old as South Valley which produced 21 publications. New faculties such Aswan and Minia still have a shortage of staff members and have young researchers with little scientific experience. 

Although, there was a fluctuation pattern of productivity between 2000 and 2041, most of the faculty showed an increase in the publication output in the period 2010 to 2014 comparing to periods 2000 to 2004 and 2005 to 2009. This positive growth in publication behavior of Veterinary researchers during this time is likely due to international collaboration through the scholarship funded by the higher ministry of education in Egypt, improved technology communications and increased research funding through many funders such as the Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF), which begun funding research projects in Egypt since 2008.

The current study indicated researchers from different faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt prefer to do research in collaboration. This result is in an agreement with results of other previous studies that reported the veterinary researchers like to work in a team (Arya, 2012; Arya and Sharma, 2012). Research become inter-disciplinary and scientists in different departments or areas of specialization have to work in a team in order to fulfill the goals of research and to have their papers published in better Journals. Multiple-authored scientific productivity is a common characteristic feature of applied sciences (Kasa et al., 2014) and one of its advantages is the increased citations of articles (Persson et al., 2004). The degree of collaboration was high in different faculties and ranged from 0.80 to 1.00. That indicate dominance tendency toward scientific collaboration between researchers affiliated to faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt. It is known that collaborative research support exchanges of the knowledge and improve the publications (Ahmad et al., 2012)

Department analysis showed a better research production in some department than other, where some departments had no representation in PubMed-indexed publications. It is a common phenomenon that some departments are more active in scientific publications than the others. For example, three of 32 departments in the faculty of medicine in Mansura produced more than 49% of total publication; 35% accounted to Urology and Nephrology and 7% for each pediatrics and parasitology departments (Helal et al., 2014). Among 144 departments related to 9 medical schools in Libya, only 9 departments produced more than 49% from the total publications and 65 departments produced no papers during 20 years (Benamer et al., 2009). Thus, the variation in department productivity is likely due to difference in the quality and motivations of researchers, international collaboration, infrastructures and modern equipment availability.

To the best of author knowledge, this is the  first  report analyzing and comparing the research productivity of faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt in the period 2000 to 2014. The current study discussed the quantitative analysis of publications, however, it is important to analyze the impact of the veterinary research output from the faculties of veterinary medicine in Egypt through analyzing the citations and impact factor of Journals published in this studies


 CONCLUSION

The current study highlighted the research productivity of different Egyptian faculties of veterinary medicine and ranked them according to their total publications.  Such ranking will be delivered to the Veterinary committees and authorities related to the ministry of higher education in Egypt. The ranking determined the actual position of each faculty of veterinary medicine as well as the scientifically active departments regarding their publication productivity on the PubMed, and that could motivate healthy competition between Egyptian veterinary medicine faculties and their departments to increase their publications in peer-reviewed Journals. The finding of the present study should serve as a starting point for offering funds needed to the research activities of different veterinary faculties and departments, and will be a driving force for improving the veterinary research in Egypt. The future study will focus on the evaluation of the quality of the 710 publications produced by the Egyptian faculties of veterinary Machine through analysis of the citations and Journal impact factors. 


 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The author has not declared any conflict of interests.



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