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1.  Traffic medicine–related research: a scientometric analysis 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:541.
Objective
Traffic crashes and related injuries are important causes of morbidity and mortality and impose insofar an important burden on public health. However, research in this area is often under-funded. The aim of this study was to analyse quantity, evolution and geographic distribution of traffic medicine-related research. This multi-sectorial field covers both transport and health care sectors.
Design
A scientometric approach in combination with visualizing density equalizing mapping was used to analyse published data related to the field of traffic medicine between 1900 and 2008 within the “Web of Science” (WoS) database.
Results
In total, 5,193 traffic medicine-associated items were produced between 1900 and 2008. The United States was found to have the highest research activity with a production of n = 2,330 published items, followed by Germany (n = 298) and Canada (n = 219). Cooperation analyses resulted in a peak of published multilateral cooperations in the year of 2003. The country with the highest multilateral activity was the USA. The average number of cited references per publication varied heavily over the last 20 years with a maximum of 27.67 in 1995 and a minimum of 15.08 in 1998. Also, a further in-depth analysis was performed with a focus solely on public health aspects which revealed similar trends.
Conclusions
Summarizing the present data it can be stated traffic medicine-related research productivity grows annually. Also, an active networking between countries is present. The data of the present study may be used by scientific organisations in order to gain detailed information about research activities in this field which is extremely important for public health.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-541
PMCID: PMC3681580  PMID: 23734726
2.  Mobile air quality studies (MAQS) in inner cities: particulate matter PM10 levels related to different vehicle driving modes and integration of data into a geographical information program 
Background
Particulate matter (PM) is assumed to exert a major burden on public health. Most studies that address levels of PM use stationary measure systems. By contrast, only few studies measure PM concentrations under mobile conditions to analyze individual exposure situations.
Methods
By combining spatial-temporal analysis with a novel vehicle-mounted sensor system, the present Mobile Air Quality Study (MAQS) aimed to analyse effects of different driving conditions in a convertible vehicle. PM10 was continuously monitored in a convertible car, driven with roof open, roof closed, but windows open, or windows closed.
Results
PM10 values inside the car were nearly always higher with open roof than with roof and windows closed, whereas no difference was seen with open or closed windows. During the day PM10 values varied with high values before noon, and occasional high median values or standard deviation values due to individual factors. Vehicle speed in itself did not influence the mean value of PM10; however, at traffic speed (10 – 50 km/h) the standard deviation was large. No systematic difference was seen between PM10 values in stationary and mobile cars, nor was any PM10 difference observed between driving within or outside an environmental (low emission) zone.
Conclusions
The present study has shown the feasibility of mobile PM analysis in vehicles. Individual exposure of the occupants varies depending on factors like time of day as well as ventilation of the car; other specific factors are clearly identifiably and may relate to specific PM10 sources. This system may be used to monitor individual exposure ranges and provide recommendations for preventive measurements. Although differences in PM10 levels were found under certain ventilation conditions, these differences are likely not of concern for the safety and health of passengers.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-7-20
PMCID: PMC3539871  PMID: 23031208
3.  Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system - implications for rehabilitation 
Background
Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues.
Methods
In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position.
Results
There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-6-30
PMCID: PMC3253038  PMID: 22118159
4.  Drowning - a scientometric analysis and data acquisition of a constant global problem employing density equalizing mapping and scientometric benchmarking procedures 
Background
Drowning is a constant global problem which claims approximately half a million victims worldwide each year, whereas the number of near-drowning victims is considerably higher. Public health strategies to reduce the burden of death are still limited. While research activities in the subject drowning grow constantly, yet there is no scientometric evaluation of the existing literature at the present time.
Methods
The current study uses classical bibliometric tools and visualizing techniques such as density equalizing mapping to analyse and evaluate the scientific research in the field of drowning. The interpretation of the achieved results is also implemented in the context of the data collection of the WHO.
Results
All studies related to drowning and listed in the ISI-Web of Science database since 1900 were identified using the search term "drowning". Implementing bibliometric methods, a constant increase in quantitative markers such as number of publications per state, publication language or collaborations as well as qualitative markers such as citations were observed for research in the field of drowning. The combination with density equalizing mapping exposed different global patterns for research productivity and the total number of drowning deaths and drowning rates respectively. Chart techniques were used to illustrate bi- and multilateral research cooperation.
Conclusions
The present study provides the first scientometric approach that visualizes research activity on the subject of drowning. It can be assumed that the scientific approach to this topic will achieve even greater dimensions because of its continuing actuality.
doi:10.1186/1476-072X-10-55
PMCID: PMC3229455  PMID: 21999813
drowning; near-drowning; occupational medicine; scientometrics; density equalizing mapping
5.  Breast cancer research output, 1945-2008: a bibliometric and density-equalizing analysis 
Breast Cancer Research : BCR  2010;12(6):R108.
Introduction
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, with an estimated 194,280 new cases diagnosed in the United States in 2009 alone. The primary aim of this work was to provide an in-depth evaluation of research yield in breast cancer from 1945 to 2008, using large-scale data analysis, the employment of bibliometric indicators of production and quality, and density-equalizing mapping.
Methods
Data were retrieved from the Web of Science (WOS) Science Citation Expanded database; this was searched using the Boolean operator, 'OR', with different terms related to breast cancer, including "breast cancer", "mammary ductal carcinoma" and "breast tumour". Data were then extracted from each file, transferred to Excel charts and visualised as diagrams. Mapping was performed as described by Groneberg-Kloft et al. in 2008.
Results
A total of 180,126 breast cancer-associated items were produced over the study period; these had been cited 4,136,224 times. The United States returned the greatest level of output (n = 77,101), followed by the UK (n = 18,357) and Germany (n = 12,529). International cooperation peaked in 2008, with 3,127 entries produced as a result; relationships between the United States and other countries formed the basis for the 10 most common forms of bilateral cooperation. Publications from nations with high levels of international cooperation were associated with greater average citation rates. A total of 4,096 journals published at least one item on breast cancer, although the top 50 most prolific titles together accounted for over 43% (77,517/180,126) of the total output.
Conclusions
Breast cancer-associated research output continues to increase annually. In an era when bibliometric indicators are increasingly being employed in performance assessment, these findings should provide useful information for those tasked with improving that performance.
doi:10.1186/bcr2795
PMCID: PMC3046453  PMID: 21176219
6.  Scientometric Analysis and Combined Density-Equalizing Mapping of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Research 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11254.
Background
Passive exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is estimated to exert a major burden of disease. Currently, numerous countries have taken legal actions to protect the population against ETS. Numerous studies have been conducted in this field. Therefore, scientometric methods should be used to analyze the accumulated data since there is no such approach available so far.
Methods and Results
A combination of scientometric methods and novel visualizing procedures were used, including density-equalizing mapping and radar charting techniques. 6,580 ETS-related studies published between 1900 and 2008 were identified in the ISI database. Using different scientometric approaches, a continuous increase of both quantitative and qualitative parameters was found. The combination with density-equalizing calculations demonstrated a leading position of the United States (2,959 items published) in terms of quantitative research activities. Charting techniques demonstrated that there are numerous bi- and multilateral networks between different countries and institutions in this field. Again, a leading position of American institutions was found.
Conclusions
This is the first comprehensive scientometric analysis of data on global scientific activities in the field of environmental tobacco smoke research. The present findings can be used as a benchmark for funding allocation processes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011254
PMCID: PMC2889821  PMID: 20582305
7.  Mobile Air Quality Studies (MAQS)-an international project 
Due to an increasing awareness of the potential hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws, rules and guidelines have recently been implemented globally. In this respect, numerous studies have addressed traffic-related exposure to particulate matter using stationary technology so far. By contrast, only few studies used the advanced technology of mobile exposure analysis. The Mobile Air Quality Study (MAQS) addresses the issue of air pollutant exposure by combining advanced high-granularity spatial-temporal analysis with vehicle-mounted, person-mounted and roadside sensors. The MAQS-platform will be used by international collaborators in order 1) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to road structure, 2) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to traffic density, 3) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to weather conditions, 4) to compare exposure within vehicles between front and back seat (children) positions, and 5) to evaluate "traffic zone"-exposure in relation to non-"traffic zone"-exposure.
Primarily, the MAQS-platform will focus on particulate matter. With the establishment of advanced mobile analysis tools, it is planed to extend the analysis to other pollutants including NO2, SO2, nanoparticles and ozone.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-8
PMCID: PMC2865482  PMID: 20380704
8.  Air pollution research: visualization of research activity using density-equalizing mapping and scientometric benchmarking procedures 
Background
Due to constantly rising air pollution levels as well as an increasing awareness of the hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws and rules have recently been passed. Although there has been a large amount of research on this topic, bibliometric data is still to be collected. Thus this study provides a scientometric approach to the material published on this subject so far.
Methods
For this purpose, data retrieved from the "Web of Science" provided by the Thomson Scientific Institute was analyzed and visualized both with density-equalizing methods and classic data-processing methods such as tables and charts.
Results
For the time span between 1955 and 2006, 26,253 items were listed and related to the topic of air pollution, published by 124 countries in 24 different languages. General citation activity has been constantly increasing since the beginning of the examined period. However, beginning with the year 1991, citation levels have been rising exponentially each year, reaching 39,220 citations in the year 2006. The United States, the UK and Germany were the three most productive countries in the area, with English and German ranked first and second in publishing languages, followed by French. An article published by Dockery, Pope, Xu et al. was both the most cited in total numbers and in average citation rate. J. Schwartz was able to claim the highest total number of citations on his publications, while D.W. Dockery has the highest citation rate per publication. As to the subject areas the items are assigned with, the most item were published in Environmental Sciences, followed by Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences and Public, Environmental & Occupational Health. Nine out of the ten publishing journals with more than 300 entries dealt with environmental interests and one dealt with epidemiology.
Conclusions
Using the method of density-equalizing mapping and further common data processing procedures, it can be concluded that scientific work concerning air pollution and related topics enjoys unbrokenly growing scientific interest. This can be observed both in publication numbers and in citation activity.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-5
PMCID: PMC2865481  PMID: 20359334
9.  Density-equalizing mapping and scientometric benchmarking of European allergy research 
Due to the great socioeconomic burden of allergic diseases, research in this field which is important for environmental medicine is currently increasing. Therefore the European Union has initiated the Global Allergy and Asthma European network (GA2LEN). However, despite increasing research in the past years detailed scientometric analyses have not been conducted so far. This study is the first scientometric analysis in a field of growing interest. It analyses scientific contributions in European allergy research between 2001 and 2007. Three different meetings of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology were analysed for contributions and an increase in both the amount of research and networks was found.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-2
PMCID: PMC2843702  PMID: 20925908
10.  Scoliosis: density-equalizing mapping and scientometric analysis 
Scoliosis  2009;4:15.
Background
Publications related to scoliosis have increased enormously. A differentiation between publications of major and minor importance has become difficult even for experts. Scientometric data on developments and tendencies in scoliosis research has not been available to date. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the scientific efforts of scoliosis research both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Methods
Large-scale data analysis, density-equalizing algorithms and scientometric methods were used to evaluate both the quantity and quality of research achievements of scientists studying scoliosis. Density-equalizing algorithms were applied to data retrieved from ISI-Web.
Results
From 1904 to 2007, 8,186 items pertaining to scoliosis were published and included in the database. The studies were published in 76 countries: the USA, the U.K. and Canada being the most productive centers. The Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) was identified as the most prolific institution during that period, and orthopedics represented by far the most productive medical discipline. "BRADFORD, DS" is the most productive author (146 items), and "DANSEREAU, J" is the author with the highest scientific impact (h-index of 27).
Conclusion
Our results suggest that currently established measures of research output (i.e. impact factor, h-index) should be evaluated critically because phenomena, such as self-citation and co-authorship, distort the results and limit the value of the conclusions that may be drawn from these measures. Qualitative statements are just tractable by the comparison of the parameters with respect to multiple linkages. In order to obtain more objective evaluation tools, new measurements need to be developed.
doi:10.1186/1748-7161-4-15
PMCID: PMC2732600  PMID: 19638232
11.  New quality and quantity indices in science (NewQIS): the study protocol of an international project 
Benchmarking systems are important features for the implementation of efficacy in basic and applied sciences. These systems are urgently needed for many fields of science since there is an imbalance present between funding policies and research evaluation. Here, a new approach is presented with an international study project that uses visualisation techniques for benchmarking processes. The project is entitled New Quality and Quantity Indices in Science (NewQIS). The juxtaposition of classical scientometric tools and novel visualisation techniques can be used to assess quality and quantity in science. In specific, the tools can be used to assess quality and quantity of research activity for distinct areas of science, for single institutions, for countries, for single time periods, or for single scientists. Also, NewQIS may be used to compare different fields, institutions, countries, or scientists for their scientific output. Thus, decision making for funding allocation can be made more transparent. Since governmental bodies that supervise funding policies and allocation processes are often not equipped with an in depth expertise in this area, special attention is given to data visualisation techniques that allow to visualize mapping of research activity and quality.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-4-16
PMCID: PMC2708171  PMID: 19555514
12.  Tobacco Control: Visualisation of Research Activity Using Density-Equalizing Mapping and Scientometric Benchmarking Procedures 
Background:
Tobacco smoking continues to be a major preventable cause of death and disease and therefore tobacco control research is extremely important. However, research in this area is often hampered by a lack in funding and there is a need for scientometric techniques to display research efforts.
Methods:
The present study combines classical bibliometric tools with novel scientometric and visualizing techniques in order to analyse and categorise research in the field of tobacco control.
Results:
All studies related to tobacco control and listed in the ISI database since 1900 were identified by the use of defined search terms. Using bibliometric approaches, a continuous increase in qualitative markers such as collaboration numbers or citations were found for tobacco control research. The combination with density equalizing mapping revealed a distinct global pattern of research productivity and citation activity. Radar chart techniques were used to visualize bi- and multilateral research cooperation and institutional cooperation.
Conclusions:
The present study supplies a first scientometric approach that visualises research activity in the field of tobacco control. It provides data that can be used for funding policy and the identification of research clusters.
doi:10.3390/ijerph6061856
PMCID: PMC2705221  PMID: 19578464
tobacco control; scientometrics; density equalizing mapping
13.  Does type of hospital ownership influence physicians' daily work schedules? An observational real-time study in German hospital departments 
Background
During the last two decades the German hospital sector has been engaged in a constant process of transformation. One obvious sign of this is the growing amount of hospital privatization. To date, most research studies have focused on the effects of privatization regarding financial outcomes and quality of care, leaving important organizational issues unexplored. Yet little attention has been devoted to the effects of privatization on physicians' working routines. The aim of this observational real-time study is to deliver exact data about physicians' work at hospitals of different ownership. By analysing working hours, further impacts of hospital privatization can be assessed and areas of improvement identified.
Methods
Observations were made by shadowing 100 physicians working in private, for-profit or non-profit as well as public hospital departments individually during whole weekday shifts in urban German settings. A total of 300 days of observations were conducted. All working activities were recorded, accurate to the second, by using a mobile personal computer.
Results
Results have shown significant differences in physicians' working activities, depending on hospital ownership, concerning working hours and time spent on direct and indirect patient care.
Conclusion
This is the first real-time analysis on differences in work activities depending on hospital ownership. The study provides an objective insight into physicians' daily work routines at hospitals of different ownership, with additional information on effects of hospital privatization.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-7-41
PMCID: PMC2692979  PMID: 19473487
14.  Analysis of research output parameters: Density equalizing mapping and citation trend analysis 
Background
Burden of disease studies indicate major socio-economic burdens since many years. They should be used for the allocation of funding. However, imbalances are present in funding policies and therefore benchmarking becomes increasingly important in health services research.
Methods
The present study assessed benchmarking approaches. Using large data base analyses, research was analyzed for different health research output parameters. The fields of cardiovascular and respiratory medicine served as models to assess irregular patterns of health research. For visualization, density equalizing mapping procedures were used.
Results
Specific areas of major research activity were identified for European countries and large differences were found. Spatial distribution of published items for cardiac and cardiovascular systems differed in comparison to the distribution for the respiratory system. In general, large countries dominated the overall number of published items. When qualitative measures such as citation analysis were assessed, differing results were achieved. In this category, mostly Scandinavian countries dominated.
Conclusion
The present approach of comparative output benchmarking can be used to assess institutional operating figures at the national and international level and to analyze imbalances in health and research funding.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-16
PMCID: PMC2672943  PMID: 19171075
15.  Development and evaluation of a computer-based medical work assessment programme 
Background
There are several ways to conduct a job task analysis in medical work environments including pencil-paper observations, interviews and questionnaires. However these methods implicate bias problems such as high inter-individual deviations and risks of misjudgement. Computer-based observation helps to reduce these problems. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the development process of a computer-based job task analysis instrument for real-time observations to quantify the job tasks performed by physicians working in different medical settings. In addition reliability and validity data of this instrument will be demonstrated.
Methods
This instrument was developed in consequential steps. First, lists comprising tasks performed by physicians in different care settings were classified. Afterwards content validity of task lists was proved. After establishing the final task categories, computer software was programmed and implemented in a mobile personal computer. At least inter-observer reliability was evaluated. Two trained observers recorded simultaneously tasks of the same physician.
Results
Content validity of the task lists was confirmed by observations and experienced specialists of each medical area. Development process of the job task analysis instrument was completed successfully. Simultaneous records showed adequate interrater reliability.
Conclusion
Initial results of this analysis supported the validity and reliability of this developed method for assessing physicians' working routines as well as organizational context factors. Based on results using this method, possible improvements for health professionals' work organisation can be identified.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-3-35
PMCID: PMC2628342  PMID: 19094213
16.  Interfield dysbalances in research input and output benchmarking: Visualisation by density equalizing procedures 
Background
Historical, social and economic reasons can lead to major differences in the allocation of health system resources and research funding. These differences might endanger the progress in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches of socio-economic important diseases. The present study aimed to assess different benchmarking approaches that might be used to analyse these disproportions. Research in two categories was analysed for various output parameters and compared to input parameters. Germany was used as a high income model country. For the areas of cardiovascular and respiratory medicine density equalizing mapping procedures visualized major geographical differences in both input and output markers.
Results
An imbalance in the state financial input was present with 36 cardiovascular versus 8 respiratory medicine state-financed full clinical university departments at the C4/W3 salary level. The imbalance in financial input is paralleled by an imbalance in overall quantitative output figures: The 36 cardiology chairs published 2708 articles in comparison to 453 articles published by the 8 respiratory medicine chairs in the period between 2002 and 2006. This is a ratio of 75.2 articles per cardiology chair and 56.63 articles per respiratory medicine chair. A similar trend is also present in the qualitative measures. Here, the 2708 cardiology publications were cited 48337 times (7290 times for respiratory medicine) which is an average citation of 17.85 per publication vs. 16.09 for respiratory medicine. The average number of citations per cardiology chair was 1342.69 in contrast to 911.25 citations per respiratory medicine chair. Further comparison of the contribution of the 16 different German states revealed major geographical differences concerning numbers of chairs, published items, total number of citations and average citations.
Conclusion
Despite similar significances of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases for the global burden of disease, large input and output imbalances have been revealed in the present study which point to a need for changes in funding policies. The present study supplies data that could be used for decision making in the field of health systems funding.
doi:10.1186/1476-072X-7-48
PMCID: PMC2533656  PMID: 18724868
17.  Institutional operating figures in basic and applied sciences: Scientometric analysis of quantitative output benchmarking 
Background
Institutional operating figures and benchmarking systems are important features for the implementation of efficacy in basic and applied sciences. They are needed for research evaluation and funding policy. However, the current policy settings for research evaluation urgently need review since there may be imbalances present in many areas.
Methods
The present study assessed benchmarking of research output. By the use of large data bases research output was categorized and analyzed. Specific areas of major research activity were identified by comparing publication density on different organ systems and inter- and intrafield comparison was performed for selected countries.
Results
Novel density-equalizing mappings were constructed that illustrate trends of publication activity and identify subsets of major interest in a total of 5,527,558 published items. A dichotomy was present between Western countries such as the US, UK or Germany and Asian countries such as Japan, China or South Korea concerning research focuses.
Conclusion
The present study is the first large scale analysis of global research activity and output over the last 50 years. The presently described assessment of operating figures at the national and international level can be used to identify single areas of research that are heavily focused. Further research on qualitative output benchmarking is needed to improve current policy settings for research evaluation.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-6-6
PMCID: PMC2459159  PMID: 18554379
18.  Models of asthma: density-equalizing mapping and output benchmarking 
Despite the large amount of experimental studies already conducted on bronchial asthma, further insights into the molecular basics of the disease are required to establish new therapeutic approaches. As a basis for this research different animal models of asthma have been developed in the past years. However, precise bibliometric data on the use of different models do not exist so far. Therefore the present study was conducted to establish a data base of the existing experimental approaches. Density-equalizing algorithms were used and data was retrieved from a Thomson Institute for Scientific Information database. During the period from 1900 to 2006 a number of 3489 filed items were connected to animal models of asthma, the first being published in the year 1968. The studies were published by 52 countries with the US, Japan and the UK being the most productive suppliers, participating in 55.8% of all published items. Analyzing the average citation per item as an indicator for research quality Switzerland ranked first (30.54/item) and New Zealand ranked second for countries with more than 10 published studies. The 10 most productive journals included 4 with a main focus allergy and immunology and 4 with a main focus on the respiratory system. Two journals focussed on pharmacology or pharmacy. In all assigned subject categories examined for a relation to animal models of asthma, immunology ranked first. Assessing numbers of published items in relation to animal species it was found that mice were the preferred species followed by guinea pigs. In summary it can be concluded from density-equalizing calculations that the use of animal models of asthma is restricted to a relatively small number of countries. There are also differences in the use of species. These differences are based on variations in the research focus as assessed by subject category analysis.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-3-S1-S7
PMCID: PMC2259401  PMID: 18315838

Results 1-18 (18)