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A negative trend of biomedical research in Libya: a bibliometric study

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Abstract Background: 

It is well established that Libya is lagging behind its peers in biomedical research. The aim of this study is to analyse all the original biomedical publications affiliated with Libya from 1973 to 2007. Methods: 

PubMed and the Science Citation Index Expanded were searched for ‘original research’ biomedical studies affiliated with Libya. The generated data were hand searched and 329 ‘original research’ studies were included in the analysis. Results: 

The first study was published in 1973. Publication rate peaked to an average of 15.2 studies per year during 1986–1996 and dropped to an average of 8.8 studies per year during 1997–2007. Of 166 first authors; 41% were Libyans and 59% were expatriates. The latter contributed 104 studies between 1986 and 1996 and 36 studies between 1997 and 2007, while the Libyans contributed 63 and 61 studies in the two respective periods. Authors affiliated with Benghazi produced 67% of the published studies, while authors from Tripoli produced 30% and other medical schools, hospitals and research centres from other Libyan cities produced only 3%. Conclusion: 

This study showed a decline in biomedical research publication in Libya. We propose that the lack of a research culture among the Libyan medical professionals is one of the factors contributing to this decline, which coincided with the departure of expatriate doctors from Libya. Raising awareness of the importance of research and improving research skills among Libyan medical professionals may help to reverse the current trend.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK 2: Department of Nephrology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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