Mapping of colorectal cancer scientific landscape between South Africa and Brazil: a bibliometric analysis

1 Apr 2021
Sphindile Magwaza, Guido Van Hal, Muhammad Hoque

Background: The five BRICS (Brazil, Russian, Indian, China and South Africa) countries bear a significant proportion of the world’s global cancer burden.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to map the scientific landscape related to colorectal cancer (CRC) research published related to South Africa (SA) and Brazil (BRA).

Methods: We used the bibliometric analysis technique to identify and map the scientific publications on CRC related to SA and BRA. We identified the document type, authors, research organisations, countries, funding sources, most relevant journals, research areas, citation reference counts, journal impact factor (IF) and open access designations in CRC scientific landscape for both countries. We analysed publications from January 2000 to August 2020 as indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection, most covering scientific medical related research and used descriptive statistical data analysis to synthesise the data.

Findings: During the period 2000–2020, there were 80 and 176 peer-reviewed publications on CRC related to SA and BRA, respectively. The majority were original research articles. Sixty-six percent identified had a primary (first) author affiliated to SA research institution and 87% had primary author affiliated to the BRA research institution. Overall, 275 authors published CRC related to SA and 1,025 authors published CRC related to BRA. The leading research organisation in SA was the University of Witwatersrand (Wits, 26%) and was the University of Sao Paulo (23%) for in BRA. The publications, related to both countries, mostly focused on oncology. The South African Medical Journal (10%) produced the most articles for SA with IF = 1.285; and the Value in Health (7%) for BRA with IF = 1.736. The median cited reference count was 32 for SA publications and 34 for BRA publications. There were 49% and 39% of publications without any open access designations for SA and BRA, respectively.

Conclusions: Mapping CRC scientific publications highlighted potential benefits of developing an informed CRC national research plan in each country to promote concerted effort to better understand the risk factors, treatment and advocate for funding as stimulus for increased CRC research outputs that can inform policy development and influence practice to help reduce and control the CRC burden in both countries.

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