, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 221–246 | Cite as

Publication trends and knowledge maps of global translational medicine research

  • Fei-Cheng Ma
  • Peng-Hui Lyu
  • Qiang Yao
  • Lan Yao
  • Shi-Jing Zhang


Translational medical research literatures have increased rapidly in last decades and there have been fewer attempts or efforts to map global research context of translational medical related research. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the global progress and to assess the current quantitatively trends on translational medical research by using a scientometric approach to survey translational medicine related literatures in Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E), Social Science Citation Index and PubMed database from 1992 to 2012. The scientometric methods and knowledge visualization technologies were employed in this paper. The document types, languages, publication patterns, subject categories, journals, geographic and institutional distributions, top cited papers, and the distribution of keywords as well as MeSH terms were thoroughly examined. Translational medicine research has increased rapidly over past 20 years, most notably in the last 4 years. In total, there are currently 3,627 research articles in 1,062 journals listed in 91 SCI-E subject categories. The top 20 productive countries and institutes were analyzed herein, where 11 key papers in translational medical research and research foci were identified. Research outputs descriptors have suggested that the presence of a solid development in translational medical research, where research in this field has mainly focused on experimental medicine, general internal medicine, and medical laboratory technologies. All these outcomes have been concentrated in several journals such as Translational Research, Translational Oncology, Translational Stroke Research, and Translational Neuroscience. G7 countries make up the leading nations for translational medical research, where the center is located in USA. American institutions have made great advances in paper productions, citations, and cooperation, with overall great strengths and good development prospects. Moreover, the evolution pathway of translational medical research has been summarized as bellows: problems emerged, causes analyzed, challenges faced and solutions proposed, translational medical research programs been formally established, theoretical and applied research, all of which was in full swing. During this process, neoplasms and genomics, interdisciplinary communication between academic medical centers/institutes, drug design and development, cardiovascular and brain diseases, and even biomedical research have been identified as mainstream topics in translational medical research fields.


Translational medical research Scientometric Research trend Web of science PubMed Knowledge mapping 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71173249: Research on Formation Mechanism and Evolution Laws of Knowledge Networks). The authors are grateful to Hong Cui, Hong-xun Song, Bin Zhang and Nathan D. Bobai for their helpful discussion and suggestions. The authors would also like to thank anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information ManagementWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Medicine and Health Management, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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