Objectives: There are very few researches on North Korea's academic activities. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the available data are reliable. This study investigated research activities and knowledge structure in the field of Preventive Medicine in North Korea with a network analysis using co-authors and keywords.
Methods: The data was composed of the North Korean Journal of preventive medicine ranged from Vol. 1 of 1997 to Vol. 4 of 2006. It was the matrix of 1,172 articles by 1,567 co-authors. We applied R procedure for keywords abstraction, and then sought for the outcome of network forms by spring-KK and shrinking network.
Results: To comprehend the whole networks explicitly demonstrated that the academic activities in North Korea's preventive medicine were predisposed to centralization as similar as South Korea's, but on the other aspect they were prone to one-off intermittent segmentation. The principal co-author networks were formulated around some outstanding medical universities seemingly in addition to possible intervention by major researchers. The knowledge structure of network was based on experimentation judging from keywords such as drug, immunity, virus detection, infection, bacteria, anti-inflammation, etc.
Conclusions: Though North Korea is a socialist regime, there were network of academic activities, which were deemed the existence of inducive mechanism affordable for free research. Article keywords has laid greater emphasis on experiment-based bacterial detection, sustainable immune system and prevention of infection. The kind of trend was a consistent characteristic in preventive medicine of North Korea having close correlation with Koryo medical science.