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Chinchilla-Rodriguez Z.,Institute of Public Goods and Policies | Zacca-Gonzalez G.,National Medical science Information Center Infomed | Vargas-Quesada B.,University of Granada | Moya-Anegon F.,Institute of Public Goods and Policies
Scientometrics | Year: 2015

This study characterizes the volume and visibility of Latin American scientific output in the area of Public Health, through a combined analysis of bibliometric, socioeconomic and health indicators of the top 10 Latin American producers of documents. The information was obtained from the SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR) portal, based on Scopus data, in the category Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, of the area Medicine, for the period 2003-2011. Our scientometric analysis involved a set of quantitative indicators (based on document recount), plus performance ones to measure impact and excellence (based on citation recount) and international collaboration. The socioeconomic indicators measured investment in health and in research, and the number of researchers. Basic health indicators were used, along with the inequity indicator known as INIQUIS. The main results reveal that the research systems with the greatest capacity to communicate scientific results are those of Brazil and Mexico, and potentially Colombia and Argentina. The best visibility was demonstrated by Uruguay, Puerto Rico and Peru, countries with high rates of collaboration. No single country stands out as having a perfectly balanced relationship regarding all the dimensions analyzed. A relative balance is achieved by Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, though with different levels of scientific output. The tangible achievements in health attained by Cuba and Chile do not appear to be related with the results of research published in the area of Public Health. There is clearly a need to find methods that would allow us to evaluate the transfer of research knowledge into practice, by means of the scientometric perspective. © Akadémiai Kiadó Source

Zacca-Gonzalez G.,National Medical science Information Center Infomed | Chinchilla-Rodriguez Z.,Institute of Public Goods and Policies | Chinchilla-Rodriguez Z.,SCImago Reseach Group | Vargas-Quesada B.,University of Granada | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: In the greater framework of the essential functions of Public Health, our focus is on a systematic, objective, external evaluation of Latin American scientific output, to compare its publications in the area of Public Health with those of other major geographic zones. We aim to describe the regional distribution of output in Public Health, and the level of visibility and specialization, for Latin America; it can then be characterized and compared in the international context. Methods. The primary source of information was the Scopus database, using the category "Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health", in the period 1996-2011. Data were obtained through the portal of SCImago Journal and Country Rank. Using a set of qualitative (citation-based), quantitative (document recount) and collaborative (authors from more than one country) indicators, we derived complementary data. The methodology serves as an analytical tool for researchers and scientific policy-makers. Results: The contribution of Latin America to the arsenal of world science lies more or less midway on the international scale in terms of its output and visibility. Revealed as its greatest strengths are the high level of specialization in Public Health and the sustained growth of output. The main limitations identified were a relative decrease in collaboration and low visibility. Conclusions: Collaboration is a key factor behind the development of scientific activity in Latin America. Although this finding can be useful for formulating research policy in Latin American countries, it also underlines the need for further research into patterns of scientific communication in this region, to arrive at more specific recommendations. © 2014 Zacca-González et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Chinchilla-Rodriguez Z.,Institute of Public Goods and Policies | Chinchilla-Rodriguez Z.,SCImago Research Group | Zacca-Gonzalez G.,National Medical science Information Center Infomed | Vargas-Quesada B.,University of Granada | And 3 more authors.
Scientometrics | Year: 2016

Comparative benchmarking with bibliometric indicators can be an aid in decision-making with regard to research management. This study aims to characterize scientific performance in a domain (Public Health) by the institutions of a country (Cuba), taking as reference world output and regional output (other Latin American centers) during the period 2003–2012. A new approach is used here to assess to what extent the leadership of a specific institution can change its citation impact. Cuba was found to have a high level of specialization and scientific leadership that does not match the low international visibility of Cuban institutions. This leading output appears mainly in non-collaborative papers, in national journals; publication in English is very scarce and the rate of international collaboration is very low. The Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kouri stands out, alone, as a national reference. Meanwhile, at the regional level, Latin American institutions deserving mention for their high autonomy in normalized citation would include Universidad de Buenos Aires (ARG), Universidade Federal de Pelotas (BRA), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (ARG), Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (BRA) and the Centro de Pesquisas Rene Rachou (BRA). We identify a crucial aspect that can give rise to misinterpretations of data: a high share of leadership cannot be considered positive for institutions when it is mainly associated with a high proportion of non-collaborative papers and a very low level of performance. Because leadership might be questionable in some cases, we propose future studies to ensure a better interpretation of findings. © 2016, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary. Source

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