The footprint of publications from low- and low middle income countries in the Neurosurgical literature
Asra Al Fauzi, Tariq Khan, Peter Hutchinson, Abdul Hafid Bajamal, Maria Pia Tropeano, Angelos Kolias, Delia Cannizzaro, Franco Servadei, Riccardo Spaggiari
Introduction: In 2015, the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery highlighted disparities in surgical care worldwide, mostly affecting Low- and Lower-Middle-Income countries (LMICs).
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the research productivity of LMICs in selected journals representing the worldwide neurosurgical literature and their ability to publish globally the existing differences between High Income Countries (HIC) and LMICs.
Methods: This was a retrospective bibliometric analysis using Pubmed and Scopus databases to record all publications between 2015 and 2017 by authors affiliated with neurosurgical departments in Low Income Countries (LICs) and Low-Middle Income countries (L-MICs).
Results: 8459 articles by authors members of neurosurgery departments from all over the world were identified. 6708 articles were included according to our methodology, out of which 459 published by LICs and L-MICs. Three hundred and thirty-four articles for full text evaluation were included. 303 (4.52%) articles were published with L-MIC affiliation and only 31 (0.46%) affiliated to a LIC. Leading countries, were India with 182 (54.5% among L-MIC and LIC, 2.71% overall), followed by Egypt at 66 (19.76%, 0.98%), with a large difference as compared to the other countries like Uganda at 9 (2.69% among L-MIC and LIC) and Tunisia and Pakistan at 8 (2.4%).
Conclusions: Research studies from LMICs are under-represented. Understanding the reasons for this is necessary in order to start addressing the disparities in neurosurgical research and care. Future engagement from international journals, partnership collaboration from HIC and tailored funding to support researchers, collaborations, and networks could be of help