Open Access Correspondence

Traffic medicine–related research: a scientometric analysis

Beatrix Groneberg-Kloft1, Doris Klingelhoefer2*, Simona E Zitnik2 and Cristian Scutaru3

Author affiliations

1 Otto-Heubner-Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Free University Berlin and Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany

2 Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

3 Institute of Occupational Medicine, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Free University Berlin and Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:541  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-541

Published: 5 June 2013



Traffic crashes and related injuries are important causes of morbidity and mortality and impose insofar an important burden on public health. However, research in this area is often under-funded. The aim of this study was to analyse quantity, evolution and geographic distribution of traffic medicine-related research. This multi-sectorial field covers both transport and health care sectors.


A scientometric approach in combination with visualizing density equalizing mapping was used to analyse published data related to the field of traffic medicine between 1900 and 2008 within the “Web of Science” (WoS) database.


In total, 5,193 traffic medicine-associated items were produced between 1900 and 2008. The United States was found to have the highest research activity with a production of n = 2,330 published items, followed by Germany (n = 298) and Canada (n = 219). Cooperation analyses resulted in a peak of published multilateral cooperations in the year of 2003. The country with the highest multilateral activity was the USA. The average number of cited references per publication varied heavily over the last 20 years with a maximum of 27.67 in 1995 and a minimum of 15.08 in 1998. Also, a further in-depth analysis was performed with a focus solely on public health aspects which revealed similar trends.


Summarizing the present data it can be stated traffic medicine-related research productivity grows annually. Also, an active networking between countries is present. The data of the present study may be used by scientific organisations in order to gain detailed information about research activities in this field which is extremely important for public health.