China's growing contribution to sepsis research from 1984 to 2014: A bibliometric study

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Background:The aim of this study was to analyze the global trends of sepsis research and investigate China's contribution by comparing the quantity and quality of sepsis-related publications.Methods:Sepsis-related publications were main retrieved from the Web of Science online database by using the keywords “sepsis” or “septic shock.” Bibliometric indicators, including the number of publications, total citation frequency, citation frequency per paper, h-index, research type, orientation, organization, author, journal, and funding support were analyzed.Results:From 1984 to 2014, a total of 70,564 papers regarding sepsis research were published worldwide. 3.60% of which were contributed by authors from Chinese institutions. Although this contribution was less than the Unites States, Germany, England, France or Japan, a notable trend of increase in a number of scientific publications (r2  =  0.57, P < .001), with an average annual growth rate of 20.78%, was observed. The quality of the publications was relatively low in China. Basic research was a clear dominant representation, accounting for 50.46% of China's sepsis research. The research centers in China were mainly located in Beijing (5 centers), Shanghai (4 centers), and Hong Kong (3 centers). The National Natural Science Foundation of China supported the most Chinese sepsis researches.Conclusion:Global sepsis research developed swiftly during the 1984 to 2014 period. The USA was in the forefront of sepsis research. Although the data indicated that China had a large increasing rate of publications, there was a considerable gap in the quality of articles between China and other developed countries.

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