Background: A relevant increase in the clinical relevance of respiratory system area has occurred in the last few years. The aims of this study were: to analyze the evolution of production and impact of Spanish scientific activity in the respiratory system area between 1987 to 1998; and to assess the participation of the different Spanish autonomic communities in this activity.
Methods: Papers published in 38 international journals of respiratory system during this period of time were selected by the MedLine system, delimiting Spanish production. Geographical and institutional distribution of the production, specialist of authors, main publication journals and type of publication were recorded. Production and impact bibliometric indicators were estimated.
Results: The number of Spanish documents from 1987 to 1998 multiplied by eight, reaching the 1.49% of the total published documents in 1998. However, the growth model of scientific production during this period was lineal. The increase in the scientific production was associated with a increase over time in the expected impact factor. In 1998, expected impact factor was 2. 206. Forty-two percent of the papers were signed by pneumologists. The highest contributor were hospitals. The most productive autonomous communities were Catalonia, Cantabria and Madrid. The communities with the highest expected impact factor were Balears and Catalonia.
Conclusions: A relevant increase has occurred in the scientific production and impact of Spanish biomedical activity in respiratory system area.