Encouragement to cross boundary knowledge sharing

Europe: most productive continent in child psychiatric academic research

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands are the most productive countries in research of child and adolescent psychiatry, with respectively 873, 458 and 314 publications between the years 2005 and 2010. More than sixty percent of the publications originated from Europe and 26 percent from the USA, while China (zero publications) and Russia (two publications) were the biggest laggards.

These are countings from a literature review by Dr Özgür Albayrak, Dr Manuel Focker and Dr Johannes Hebebrand of the Child and Youth Psychiatry Department of the University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), and Karin Wibker, working at the academic library of the same institute. They paint a picture of the scientific attention to psychological and psychiatric problems among children and youth in different countries through a bibliometric analysis of the leading U.S. database PubMed (part of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI) and the leading European Scopus database (Elsevier). The study was published in the ECAP Journal (2012), the official journal of ESCAP.

Highest impact
In terms of impact the Netherlands appears to be the world's number one research country in the field of child psychiatry. To determine the impact factor of the published research, the authors corrected the number of publications on the basis of population and gross national product. Articles from the Netherlands appeared to have had significantly more impact than others (per inhabitant and per euro earned). The effort that small countries contribute to child and adolescent psychiatric research may be seen as an encouragement to cross boundary knowledge sharing.

“Great compliment to
portrait of profesoor Dr Jan Buitelaar, chairman of the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry mental health workers and researchers”
Dr Jan Buitelaar, professor at the Nijmegen University (Netherlands) and chairman of the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said in response to the Albayrak review: "These figures are a great compliment to all those who selflessly contributed to the open cooperation between scientific institutes and institutions. It adorns our mental health workers and researchers that cooperation in the interest of the patient has always stood above all particular interests. Sharing knowledge through our Knowledge Centre is an important part of that achievement.”

The researchers counted all publications between 2005 and 2010 in PubMed articles written by staff specialized in child and youth research, and compared the number found with the total size of PubMed. Then the authors arranged articles by country of origin. Besides quantity, the authors also looked at the quality of the research, even though this part of the study was limited to articles from 2009. The quality was measured by the impact factor of the journals in which the articles appeared. By adding the impact of items per country the researchers emerged a cumulative impact factor, which they made better interpretable by making corrections for the population size and the gross national product of the countries concerned. The authors double checked the results by repeating the analysis in Scopus, a (larger) competitor of PubMed.

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Source: Albayrak, Ö, Föcker, M., Wibker, K. and Hebebrand, J. (2012). Bibliometric assessment of publication output of child and adolescent psychiatric/psychological affiliations between 2005 and 2010 based on the databases PubMed and Scopus. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (ECAP Journal), 21, 327-37. DOI: 10.1007/s00787-012-0265-x

Read the Jan Buitelaar interview on our research pages.