, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp 867–888 | Cite as

Oncology research in late twentieth century and turn of the century Portugal: a scientometric approach to its institutional and semantic dimensions

  • Oriana Rainho BrásEmail author
  • Jean-Philippe Cointet
  • Alberto Cambrosio
  • Leonor David
  • João Arriscado Nunes
  • Fátima Cardoso
  • Carmen Jerónimo


This paper analyses the developmental dynamics of oncology research in Portugal during the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty first century. Grounding its conclusions in a scientometric analysis of a database of publications covering the period 1976–2015, the paper shows how the expansion of oncology research from the end of the 1990s through the 2000s is closely related to science and technology policy decisions in the country. The main actors of the institutional evolution of the field are public organizations, both hospital and academia/research-based, frequently working together. Portuguese oncology research focused especially on organ-based cancers, underlining the strong link between the laboratory and the clinic. Accordingly, translational research is a major trend in oncology research, as evidenced by the analysis of publications in major journals and inter-citation maps. Networks of institutional co-authorships show the importance of regional and international collaborations. The collaboration patterns over time reveal the importance of national and European collaborations during the initial years covered by our publication database, in line with the major impact of Portugal’s integration into the European Union, and a growing importance of regional collaborations, as well as with North and South American institutions in more recent years. Portugal provides a case study of how twentieth century policies at the national and European levels have impacted on the evolution of oncology research in countries from southern Europe.


Oncology research Institutional collaboration networks Semantic networks Portugal Scientometrics 



Oriana Rainho Brás would like to thank Diogo Cordeiro, Rita Rainho, and Tiago Ribeiro for their support.


This research was funded by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Bristol Myers Squibb and ASPIC-Portuguese Association for Cancer Research.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SOCIUS-Research Centre in Economic and Organizational Sociology, CSG-Consortium of Social Sciences and Management, ISEG-School of Economics and ManagementUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.ASPIC-Portuguese Association for Cancer ResearchPortoPortugal
  3. 3.LISIS-Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations SociétésINRA-Institut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueMarne-la-ValléeFrance
  4. 4.Department of Social Studies of MedicineMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.IPATIMUP-Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of PortoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.Medical FacultyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  7. 7.i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  8. 8.CES Centre for Social StudiesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  9. 9.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  10. 10.Champalimaud FoundationLisbonPortugal
  11. 11.Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO Porto)PortoPortugal
  12. 12.ICBAS UP-Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of PortoPortoPortugal

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