Assessing the Scientific Research Productivity of Puerto Rican Cancer Researchers: Bibliometric Analysis from the Science Citation Index

William A. Calo, Carlos Suárez-Balseiro, Erick Suárez, Marievelisse Soto-Salgado, Eduardo J. Santiago-Rodríguez, Ana P. Ortiz


Objective: The analysis of cancer scientific production in Puerto Rico is largely unexplored. The objective of this study was to characterize trends in cancer-related research publications by authors affiliated to Puerto Rican institutions in recent decades. Methods: Manuscripts were retrieved from the Science Citation Index (SCI) database from 1982 to 2009. Search criterions were that the author’s affiliation field contained some institution located in Puerto Rico and that the manuscripts were related to cancer research (according to keywords from the National Cancer Institute’ cancer definition). Indexes measured in our analysis included number and type of manuscript, scientific collaboration, author’s affiliation, and journal visibility. All the analyses were conducted using ProCite for bibliographic information management and STATA and SEER Joinpoint for the statistical inquiry. Results: From 1982-2009, cancer-related papers authored by scientists located in Puerto Rico came to 451. Over the last three decades the scientific production underwent significant growth (APC = 6.4%, p < 0.05) with the highest peak between 2000 and 2009 (61.4% of all articles). Universities are the local institutional sector with the highest number of authors (81.4%), and the University of Puerto Rico is the most active center in this regard (68.5%). Forty-three percent of the manuscripts (n=195) were published in 20 journals from which 14 are observed to have high visibility when compared to similar thematic journals. Conclusions: Cancer-scientific production in Puerto Rico underwent constant growth during the last three decades. A complete understanding of citing, publishing, and collaboration patterns in Puerto Rico is critical to researchers, policy makers, and health-care professionals in order to make informed decisions about cancer research priorities.


bibliometric analysis; cancer research; Science Citation Index; Puerto Rico

Full Text:


Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
Founded in 1982