Background: Digitized databases of scientific publications provide an opportunity to study the development and structure of science as a whole or a discipline. Qualitative methods of bibliometrics help with this, and the multidisciplinary approach, known as the "Science of Science", provides a thinking framework and methods. There is no example for the analysis of the bibliometric characteristics of Hungarian suicidology publications.
Method: In this study, the author analyzes publications related to suicidal behavior published between 1992 and 2021, with the participation of at least one Hungarian author, using statistical, data visualization, and network analysis methods. The analysis used publications in English, Hungarian, and other languages found in the Scopus database.
Results: The present research could identify 426 Hungarian publications in the three decades examined. The number of studies increased 5.8 times between the first and last five-year periods. The growth is not linear; there was a sudden increase in the number of studies around 2004. The doubling time for the number of studies is 9.6 years. The analysis identified five larger and five smaller clusters in the authors' network of relationships, representing well-known domestic suicidal research groups. In suicidology, Lotka's law also applies to the Hungarian sample. That is, few authors write the majority of studies, while the vast majority write only a few publications during their careers. A study's average number of authors increased significantly during the examined period. Multi-author studies received significantly more citations than single-author studies. 74.4% of the announcements are in English, and 21.6% are in Hungarian.
Conclusions: The methods of bibliometric analysis and the "science of science" can help research groups identify new research directions. All of this can ultimately contribute to a better understanding of suicidal behavior, allowing answering social and scientific problems. The focus of future bibliometric research, in addition to foreign databases, could be the analysis of a broader time interval with the help of Hungarian databases (e.g., MATARKA).