Mapping the landscape of medical research in the Arab world countries: A comprehensive bibliometric analysis

Saudi Med J. 2024 Apr;45(4):387-396. doi: 10.15537/smj.2024.45.4.20230968.


Objectives: To describe the productivity, performance, and impact of medical research in the Arab world countries.

Methods: We carried out a bibliometric analysis using Clarivate Analytics databases from January 2017 to March 2023. We reported research productivity, national and international research collaboration patterns, impact of Arab medical research output compared to the global average, top medical journals publishing Arab-affiliated research, and performance of the most productive Arab institutions.

Results: The Arab world contributed 2.72% to global medical research publication, with a citation impact of 11.98 compared to the global impact of 12.02. Qatar, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia led medical research publications per million population among Arab countries, ranking 26th, 36th, and 37th globally. Medical research publications increased by 87% annually from 2017-2022, with 70% of research originating from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. National collaborations accounted for 15% of Arab world publications, while international collaborations represented 66%. The median impact factor across the top 20 medical journals with Arab-affiliated authors was 5.14, with 50% being quartile one journals. The top 10 Arab-origin medical journals had a median impact factor of 3.13. Approximately 80% of the top 20 Arab institutions were academic, with a median publication count of 3,162.5 and a median citation impact of 14.5.

Conclusion: The study provides insights into the state of medical research in the Arab countries, indicating room for improvement in the region's medical research.

Keywords: Arab World; Arabs; bibliometrics; biomedical research; publications.

MeSH terms

  • Arab World*
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Biomedical Research* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • Periodicals as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Publishing / statistics & numerical data
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia