Worldwide Research Productivity in the Field of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: A 20-year Survey of Publication Activities

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Study Design.

Bibliometric analysis.


This study aimed to reveal the characteristics of world productivity in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) research and to provide a general picture for surgeons and researchers.

Summary of Background Data.

Significant growth has been observed in the field of MISS research in recent years. However, bibliometric studies concerning the quantity and quality of articles published in MISS journals are scarce.


All the data concerning MISS in this study originate from the Web of Science (Thomson Reuters, New York, NY) without restrictions. All selected literates were evaluated in the following aspects: publication year, publication journals, author, times cited, Web of Science category, countries/territories.


A total number of 2051 articles were published worldwide. The articles published during 2000 to 2015 are more than 11.28 times when compared to those published before 2000. The United States published the largest number of articles (855/2051, 41.7%), followed by Germany (245/2051, 11.9%), South Korea (160/2051, 7.8%), China (147/2051, 7.2%), and Japan (108/2051, 5.2%) and had the highest total citations (16,626). Additionally, the United States had the highest average citations per article (12.14), followed by Japan (11.98), Germany (11.19), South Korea (11.04), and China (10.95). High-income countries published 98.73% of articles, upper-middle-income countries published 0.24% of articles, and middle-income countries published 1.03% of articles.


The time trend for the number of MISS articles showed a significant increase over time with an average of 93.23 articles per year. The United States was the most productive country and had the highest average citations per article. Among related journals, Spine published the largest number of articles in MISS research and was the most popular one in the top five countries.


Level of Evidence: 5

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