Bibliometric assessment of cancer research in Puerto Rico, 1903-2005

Ana P. Ortiz, William A. Calo, Carlos Suárez-Balseiro, Mariano Maura-Sardo, Erick Suarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)


Objective. The analysis of scientific production in Puerto Rico is largely unexplored. The main aim of this study is to present the characteristics and trends of cancer publications in Puerto Rico's biomedical journals and their relationship with the island's cancer mortality. Methods. A PubMed and a hard-copy search were performed to retrieve cancer-related articles published in the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal and the Boletín de la Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico from 1903 to 2005. Bibliometric indicators studied included the number of authors and references by article, first author's institutional affiliation and country, document type, and language. The study type and tumor classification were also recorded. Cancer proportional mortality (M%) in Puerto Rico and the proportion of cancer-related articles (P%) published were also evaluated. The annual percent change (APC) was estimated to assess trends. Results. A total of 369 articles were retrieved. The institutions with the majority of publications were universities (39.6%), English was the predominant publication language (72.1%), and the principal document type was original papers (69.6%). Epidemiologic studies were the dominant study type (62.1%), and the most studied cancers were digestive (15.4%) and gynecologic (9.6%). Although the P% has increased since 1913 (APC = 1.2%), the M% increased at a faster pace (APC = 2.7%). Conclusions. Although a growth in the number of cancer publications is observed in these journals, it does not parallel the increase in proportional mortality. A better understanding of the cancer publications in Puerto Rico is essential to establish priorities, define future areas of research, and develop cancer control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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