Bibliometric profile of the global scientific research on multiple sclerosis (2003–2012)

Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent; Adolfo Alonso-Arroyo; Javier González de Dios; Antonio Vidal-Infer; María González-Muñoz; Ángel P Sempere
Multiple Sclerosis Journal

Background and objectives: The aim of this paper is to analyse the scientific research on multiple sclerosis using a bibliographic analysis of articles published during the period 2003–2012.

Methods: The items under study were obtained from the Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCI-E) database, which was accessed through the Web of Science (WOS) platform. All records with the term ‘multiple sclerosis’ in the title, plus all articles published in the journals Multiple Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis Journal, were analysed.

Results: A total of 9778 articles, with 160,966 citations, were retrieved on multiple sclerosis, and the majority of the articles were published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal (n = 1511). The articles were published in journals belonging to 135 different subject areas, with the greatest number of papers falling under the category of clinical neurology. The countries that published the largest numbers of articles were the United States (US) (n = 2786), Italy (n = 1263), the United Kingdom (n = 1147) and Germany (n = 1018). International collaborations produced 20.4% of the papers.

Conclusions: We emphasise the progressive growth of publications worldwide, the publication of articles in a wide variety of journals covering numerous subject areas, and the research leadership of Western countries, most notably European countries, the US and Canada.