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Open Access Research article

Comparison of publication trends in dermatology among Japan, South Korea and Mainland China

Huibin Man1, Shujun Xin2, Weiping Bi1, Chengzhi Lv2, Theodora M Mauro34, Peter M Elias34 and Mao-Qiang Man234*

Author Affiliations

1 Wendeng Central Hospital, Shandong, P.R. China

2 The Center for Skin Physiology Research, Dalian Skin Disease Hospital, Liaoning 116021, P.R. China

3 Dermatology Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA

4 Department of Dermatology, University of California, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

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BMC Dermatology 2014, 14:1  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-14-1

Published: 9 January 2014

Abstract

Background

We previously showed that the number of publications in dermatology is increasing year by year, and positively correlates with improved economic conditions in mainland China, a still developing Asian country. However, the characteristics of publications in dermatology departments in more developed Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea are unknown.

Methods

In the present study, publications from 2003 through 2012 in dermatology in Japan, South Korea and mainland China were characterized. All data were obtained from http://www.pubmed.com webcite.

Results

Dermatology departments in Japan published 4,094 papers, while mainland China and South Korea published 1528 and 1,758 articles, respectively. 48% of articles from dermatology in Japan were original research and 36% were case reports; The number of publications in Japan remained stable over time, but the overall impact factors per paper increased linearly over the last 10 year period (p < 0.05). In mainland China, 67% of articles from dermatology were original research, while 19% were case reports; The number of publications and their impact factors per paper increased markedly. In South Korea, 65% of articles from dermatology were original research and 20% were case reports. The impact factors per paper remained unchanged, despite of the fact that the number of publications increased over the last 10 year period (r2 = 0.6820, p = 0.0032). Only mainland China showed a positive correlation of the number of publications with gross domestic product per capita during this study period.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the total number of publications in dermatology correlates with economic conditions only in developing country, but not in more developed countries in Asia. The extent of economic development could determine both the publication quantity and quality.

Keywords:
Publication; Dermatology; Gross domestic product; China; Japan; South Korea