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The BioRegion of Catalonia: Key bibliometric facts

Over the past 20 years, the number of biomedicine publications has nearly quadrupled in Catalonia. Specifically, from 1996 to 2016, the number of biomedicine publications increased 3.78 times, from 2,145 to 8,117 documents per year. In relative terms, the proportion of biomedicine publications compared to total scientific production has dropped slightly due to growth in areas like the social sciences and engineering. In addition, 16.5% of biomedicine publications are among the most cited documents, tripling the percentage of publications of excellence expected by their volume of production. In absolute terms, Catalonia would be ranked 23rd in the world position of countries for scientific production in biomedicine.


Bibliometric Report of the BioRegion 2012-2016


Revistas científicas

A sector with high impact scientific production      

  • Between 2012 and 2016, the BioRegion of Catalonia produced 38.690 scientific publications in the healthcare and life sciences arena (biomedicine), including original articles, summaries and conference proceedings or papers. This makes up 41.48% of all scientific production generated in Catalonia over this period. In this period 2012-2016, Catalan biomedicine publications generated 566,254 citations, more than half (55.5%) of the total citations generated by publications in all sectors.
  • In the last 20 years, the number of biomedicine publications has almost quadrupled in Catalonia, from 2,145 publications in 1996 to 8,177 documents in 2016.
  • The impact of Catalan biomedicine in biomedicine was 15.7% above the global average (RCI 1.157). In other words, they received 15.7% more appointments than documents of the same type published in the same magazine and year. In addition, 16.5% of biomedicine publications are among the most cited documents (HCP 1,165), tripling the percentage of publications of excellence expected by its volume of production (RHCP 3,052).


The BioRegion to the international rankings of scientific production

  • Catalan scientific production in biomedicine from 2012 to 2016 made up 1.2% of the worldwide total, 3.51% of that in Europe (EU 28), and 34.1% of that in Spain. Between 2012 and 2016, the United States, China, England, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, France, Australia and Spain (including Catalan production) were the top 10 countries on the global ranking by volume of biomedicine publications. With 38,169 documents published in this field, Catalonia would be ranked 23rd in the world.
  • This quotient allows us to measure each country’s contribution to knowledge in biomedicine compared to that it makes to science in general, meaning the relative contribution to biomedical knowledge. This indicator ranks Catalonia ranked fifth in the world with 23%, meaning it contributes 23% more to biomedical knowledge than it does to science in general. The Netherlands is first on this ranking  with 42%, followed by Denmark (39%), the United States (30%) and Sweden (25%). Catalonia contributes to world biomedical knowledge 23% more than it brings to all sciences.
  • In Spain, Catalonia had the highest level of scientific production in general and in biomedicine for the 2012-2016 period. Also noteworthy is the greater degree of international collaboration compared to other communities in Spain. As the right-hand column of the table shows, more than half (52.4%) of all Catalan biomedicine publications involve collaboration with authors from other countries. This is the highest percentage in the country. Regarding the relative weight of biomedical production relative to total scientific production, it is slightly higher in Catalonia (41.5%) than in the Community of Madrid (38.3%).


More active specialties in scientific production

  • Oncology, Pharmacology and Clinical Neurology were the most active disciplines in the period 2012-2016, while Pneumology, Dermatology and Primary Care achieved the greatest impact with RCI 1.373; 1,358 and 1,347, respectively.

General Medicine, Gastroenterology and Oncology achieved a greater proportion of publications in the 1% more mentioned in the world, with RHCP 12,218; 5,422 and 5,258, respectively. Oncology also showed the highest percentage of international collaboration (63.8%).

  • 60% of the publications of the research centers are made in collaboration with authors from other countries. This percentage of internationalization is 50% and 49%, respectively, in the case of the university and health sectors.


More active actors in scientific production

  • In the period 2012-2016 64.5% of Catalan publications in biomedicine (24,631) had at least one hospital or related entity by the authors, and 28.8% (10,996) have been signed by a university or related entity.
  • Among the hospitals, it is worth mentioning the scientific production of the Hospital Clínic, with 7,611 documents, and with an RHCP index of excellence of 4,493. Also worth mentioning is the Vall d'Hebron Hospital, with 4,161 documents and RHCP of 4,494.

Regarding the health research institutes, IDIBAPS stands out, with 7,948 documents and RHCP 4,441. With 4,395 documents and a higher impact index (RHCP 4,619), VHIR also stands out. Regarding the RHCP index, the VHIO stands out with 10,286 (with 525 documents).

With reference to universities, the volume and impact (from 1,000 documents) of the publications of the University of Barcelona (UB) with 13,146 documents and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) with 8,568 documents, followed by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) with 3,694 documents, and the universities of Girona (UdG) and Polytechnic of Catalonia (UPC) with just over 1,000 documents in the healthcare sector.

Regarding public research centers, the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and ISGlobal, with 1,379 and 1,369 publications, respectively, stand out. Both have a relevant RHCP index: ICO of 4,859 and ISGlobal of 3,506. Also worthy of mention are the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) with an RHCP of 6,192. In addition, the Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) appears with 1,956 documents and RHCP of 6.237.

Regarding the company publications (1,033 documents), although with a number of more modest articles and very variable impacts, the production of Thomson-Reuters, Almirall Laboratories, Novartis, CETIR Grup Mèdic, Pangaea Biotech or Laboratoris Esteve stands out. These include the impact indicators and excellence of Pangaea Biotech with RCI of 1.726 and RHCP of 6.522.