Publications pattern of dermatology research in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Med J. 2020 May;41(5):524-531. doi: 10.15537/smj.2020.5.25051.


To analyze the quantity and characteristics of Saudi Arabia's (SA's) dermatology research publications throughout the years. Methods: A literature search was conducted between October 2018 and July 2019 in the Dermatology Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. PubMed was used as a search engine, to retrieve dermatology-related publications in SA - from the date of the first article publication in 1982 to December 31, 2018. Results: Five hundred publications were included. Two-thirds of them were written between 2010 and 2018. Approximately 50% were from the central region and only 3% were multiregional studies. Funding support was described in 13% of these publications. The top 5 most-researched fields were infectious disorders (12%), genodermatosis (10%), hypopigmentation disorders (9.4%), neoplastic disorders (9%), and hair disorders (7%). Two-thirds of the publications were observational studies, and mostly case reports (44%). Conclusion: Dermatology research in SA has increased over the past decade. However, the quality of research remains inadequate. Saudi Arabia's dermatology research output is affected b y the availability of funding and national research projects, which could improve the studies' quality. We recommend the establishment of data registry units that can aid researchers in producing high-quality studies, while encouraging the collaboration of different centers in various SA regions (and abroad) to conduct research with generalizable results.

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology*
  • Humans
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Time Factors