Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 1773–1783 | Cite as

Trends in World Dental Research: an overview of the last three decades using the Web of Science

  • R. Pulgar
  • I. Jiménez-Fernández
  • E. Jiménez-Contreras
  • D. Torres-Salinas
  • C. Lucena-Martín
Original Article



The objective of this paper is to analyse the scientific activity of dental sciences over the last 30 years.

Materials and methods

Dental-research output was identified by retrieving all citable dental documents in the Web of Science (WoS) database in the periods 1986–1988, 1996–1998, and 2006–2008. For this, a two-phase search strategy was designed: firstly, output in Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Medicine (DOSM) Journal Citation Reports (JCR) category journals were compiled; secondly, for journal documents of other JCR categories but related to Dentistry (Non-DOSM), an innovative search strategy was designed based on a double criterion, thematic and institutional.


The results showed that DOSM production increased in absolute but decreased in relative terms over the last 30 years. The JCR categories where dental researchers publish also varied. Surprisingly, the geographic distribution of the production shows a growing concentration of the steadily fewer countries, a previously undescribed phenomenon, while the thematic analysis reveals that this production continued to form four broad thematic areas encompassing the remaining specialties: Dental Materials Prosthodontics, Orthodontics, and General Dentistry.


Scientific production in dentistry has changed in the past three decades both quantitatively and qualitatively, as well as their geographical distribution despite being structured around the same specialties.

Clinical relevance

In this study, along with some key messages about the key shifts in publication trends, in terms of subject, where published and by whom, we propose a new methodology which could be useful to professionals as well as researchers, in which the exhaustivity and precision rates for scientific information retrieval improve.


Dental research Dentistry Publications Journal impact factor Bibliometrics Biomedical research 



We thank David Nesbitt for the English version of the text. This research was supported by Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (Spain) grant MAT2009:09795.

Conflict of interest

The authors not have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

784_2012_862_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (113 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 113 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Pulgar
    • 1
  • I. Jiménez-Fernández
    • 1
  • E. Jiménez-Contreras
    • 2
  • D. Torres-Salinas
    • 2
  • C. Lucena-Martín
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Campus de Cartuja, Ed. MáximoGranada UniversityGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Ec3 Research Group & CIMA-Center for Applied Medical Research, Campus de Cartuja, Ed. MáximoGranada UniversityGranadaSpain

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