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Rheumatol Int. 2013 Nov;33(11):2743-50. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Gout: a critical analysis of scientific development.


In recent years, scientific efforts on the topic "gout" have focused on pathogenetic aspects. This has opened new strategies of anti-inflammatory therapy and has improved urate-lowering therapy. So far, a scientometric analysis of the topic "gout" has not been generated despite an increased need for it in times of modified evaluation criteria for academic personnel and a subsequent tendency to co-authorship and author self-citation. The study aims to evaluate quality and quantity of scientific research dealing with the topic "gout" and to contribute to distinguish relevant research output. The current study uses scientometric methods and large-scale data analysis to evaluate quality and quantity of scientific efforts in the field of "gout." Data were gained from PubMed and ISI-Web. In the last 22 years (1990–2012), 4,424 items were published by 71 countries, of which the USA have been the most productive supplier with 32 % of all publications, followed in considerable distance by the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain and Germany, respectively. The USA have established their position as center of international cooperation. The most prolific journals in the field of gout were "Arthritis and Rheumatism," "Annals of the Rheumatic diseases" and the "Journal of Rheumatology." Our analysis specifies the most productive authors and institutions engaged with the topic, the most successful international and national cooperation and the most prolific journals and subject areas. Nevertheless, scientometric indicators, such as h-index, citation rate and impact factor, commonly used for assessment of scientific quality, should be seen critically due to distortion by bias of self-citation and co-authorship.

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