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Two Spaniards among world’s ten most productive scientists in the field of reproductive biology

A bibilometric study has been carried out to evaluate the scientific activity of international researchers and institutions specialising in reproductive biology. The results reveal that two Spanish scientists, Antonio Pellicer y Carlos Simón, are among the ten most productive scientists in this field worldwide. The Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI) is the only Spanish centre to figure among the top 50 institutions, and Spain takes the eleventh position in terms of studies produced.

The research group from the University of Valencia (UV) that carried out the bibliometric research sought to identify the most productive authors and institutions between 2003 and 2005, as well as the composition of scientists in collaborative projects between authors and centres publishing their work in the leading reproductive biology journals.

The study has been recently published in Fertility and Sterility. The scientists appearing on the league table “can be considered as the elite in terms of research in the area; in other words they are at the cutting edge of scientific developments in this discipline”, Gregorio González-Alcaide, lead author of the study and a researcher at the López Piñero Institute of the History of Medicine and Science, a joint UV and CSIC centre, told SINC.

In total, the researchers studied 4,702 papers, of which 96.75% were the written in collaboration between two or more authors, while 73.73% of the research stemmed from collaboration between institutions. The authors identified 106 authors who had published more than nine studies, and calculated an average number of 5.24 researchers per study.

On this basis, Antonio Pellicer Martínez, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, and chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Valencia (UV) took fourth position, with 30 pieces of research published and 72 collaborations. The other Spaniard, in the number nine slot, is Carlos Simón, chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the UV and the first researcher in Spain to have obtained cell lines from human embryo stem cells, with 24 papers. He is a researcher at the Valencian Stem Cell Centre and a member of the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI).

Spain, among the top 20

Spain takes the number 11 spot in terms of production of scientific research in the field of reproductive biology, with 159 studies published between 2003 and 2005, or 2.82% of total world production. In terms of work carried out, Spain undertook 100 collaborative projects, with the United States being the most frequent partner, in 19 projects. The United States and the United Kingdom are world leaders in terms of scientific production, with the US producing 1,541 papers (27.32% of total world production). These two countries “have led the league tables of absolute productivity (number of studies) in the area since the 1990s, although research is now emerging strongly in countries such as Canada and the People’s Republic of China”, points out


In terms of Spanish scientific centres, the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI) is the most productive Spanish institution in the field of reproductive biology, occupying the number 33 spot at international level. France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research and the University of Texas, USA, lead the productivity ranking, with 94 and 65 studies, respectively.

The bibliometric leader

At 1,491 pieces of research, the American journal Fertility and Sterility has published more studies within this discipline than any other scientific magazine. It is followed by the British journal Human Reproduction, with 1,400 and the highest average rate of papers per issue, and Biology of Reproduction, with 1,322.

The researchers chose reproductive biology as a subject to look in more depth at ‘scienciometric’ studies related to scientific sociology, because it is “an area of knowledge with great social relevance, and which has undergone significant growth over recent decades”, explained González.

During the bibliometric analysis, however, the researchers found some limitations in the quality of data sources (authors who do not always sign their studies in the same way), the coverage of the study, (which does not include all research within this field), and the way in which the study included analysis of co-authorship (with no uniform criterion for identifying networks of authors).

SINC Team | alfa
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