Bibliometric analysis of nicotine research in China during the period of 1991 to 2007

Hao Qiu, Yi-feng Chen
Inhalation Toxicology 2009, 21 (11): 965-71
With the widespread exposure of people to nicotine through recreational use of tobacco products, research into nicotine has attracted increasing attention. Tobacco smoking is by far the most important cause of lung cancer. As the world's largest producer and consumer of tobacco products, China bears a large proportion of the global burden of smoking-related disease; therefore, information on nicotine publications should be collected to formulate future research policy. In the present study, we investigated nicotine-related research articles published by Chinese authors that were indexed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) from 1991 to 2007. An indicator "citations per publication" (CPP) was used in the study to evaluate the impact of journals, articles, and institutes. The quantity of publications has increased at a quicker pace than the worldwide trend. Article visibility, measured as the frequency of being cited, also increased during the period. However, the overall quality of articles, based on the impact factor of journals publishing those articles, dropped behind the worldwide average level. There has been an increase in international collaboration, mainly with researchers in the USA. The average CPP of international co-authorship articles was higher than that of single country publications. Besides the USA, nicotine research in China will benefit from more collaboration with Taiwan, England, and Germany. Some 110 of 264 articles were published by a single institute, and the top six institutes were compared from various angles. Seventy-two subject categories were covered, and trends (in terms of both quantity and quality) of nicotine research in China were compared with worldwide trends. In addition, analysis of keywords in both nicotine and lung cancer research fields was applied to indicate research interests. Mutual cooperation among multiple disciplines needs further strengthening.

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