Publications are often used as a measure of success of research work. Leishmaniasis is considered endemic in 98 countries, most of which are developing. This article describes a bibliometric review of the literature on leishmaniasis research indexed in PubMed during a 66-year period.
Medline was used via the PubMed online service of the US National Library of Medicine. The search strategy was Leishmania [MeSH] or leishmaniasis [MeSH] from 1 January 1945 until 31 December 2010. Neither language nor document type restrictions were employed.
A total of 20,780 references were retrieved. The number of publications increased steadily over time, with 3,380 publications from 1945-1980 to 8,267 from 2001-2010. Leishmaniasis documents were published in 1,846 scientific journals, and Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (4.9%) was the top one. The USA was the predominant country by considering the first author’s institutional address (16.8%), followed by Brazil (14.9%), and then India (9.0%), however Brazil leads the scientific output in 2001-2010 period (18.5%), followed by the USA (13.5%) and India (10%). The production ranking changed when the number of publications was normalised by population (Israel and Switzerland), by gross domestic product (Nepal and Tunisia), and by gross national income per capita (India and Ethiopia). For geographical area, Europe led (31.7%), followed by Latin America (24.5%).
We have found an increase in the number of publications in the field of leishmaniasis. The USA and Brazil led scientific production on leishmaniasis research.