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      The rise of health biotechnology research in Latin America: A scientometric analysis of health biotechnology production and impact in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico

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          Abstract

          This paper analyzes the patterns of health biotechnology publications in six Latin American countries from 2001 to 2015. The countries studied were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico. Before our study, there were no data available on HBT development in half of the Latin-American countries we studied, i.e., Argentina, Colombia and Chile. To include these countries in a scientometric analysis of HBT provides fuller coverage of HBT development in Latin America. The scientometric study used the Web of Science database to identify health biotechnology publications. The total amount of health biotechnology production in the world during the period studied was about 400,000 papers. A total of 1.2% of these papers, were authored by the six Latin American countries in this study. The results show a significant growth in health biotechnology publications in Latin America despite some of the countries having social and political instability, fluctuations in their gross domestic expenditure in research and development or a trade embargo that limits opportunities for scientific development. The growth in the field of some of the Latin American countries studied was larger than the growth of most industrialized nations. Still, the visibility of the Latin American research (measured in the number of citations) did not reach the world average, with the exception of Colombia. The main producers of health biotechnology papers in Latin America were universities, except in Cuba were governmental institutions were the most frequent producers. The countries studied were active in international research collaboration with Colombia being the most active (64% of papers co-authored internationally), whereas Brazil was the least active (35% of papers). Still, the domestic collaboration was even more prevalent, with Chile being the most active in such collaboration (85% of papers co-authored domestically) and Argentina the least active (49% of papers). We conclude that the Latin American countries studied are increasing their health biotechnology publishing. This strategy could contribute to the development of innovations that may solve local health problems in the region.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Estimates of global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and mortality of HIV, 1980–2015: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

          Summary Background Timely assessment of the burden of HIV/AIDS is essential for policy setting and programme evaluation. In this report from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we provide national estimates of levels and trends of HIV/AIDS incidence, prevalence, coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and mortality for 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015. Methods For countries without high-quality vital registration data, we estimated prevalence and incidence with data from antenatal care clinics and population-based seroprevalence surveys, and with assumptions by age and sex on initial CD4 distribution at infection, CD4 progression rates (probability of progression from higher to lower CD4 cell-count category), on and off antiretroviral therapy (ART) mortality, and mortality from all other causes. Our estimation strategy links the GBD 2015 assessment of all-cause mortality and estimation of incidence and prevalence so that for each draw from the uncertainty distribution all assumptions used in each step are internally consistent. We estimated incidence, prevalence, and death with GBD versions of the Estimation and Projection Package (EPP) and Spectrum software originally developed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). We used an open-source version of EPP and recoded Spectrum for speed, and used updated assumptions from systematic reviews of the literature and GBD demographic data. For countries with high-quality vital registration data, we developed the cohort incidence bias adjustment model to estimate HIV incidence and prevalence largely from the number of deaths caused by HIV recorded in cause-of-death statistics. We corrected these statistics for garbage coding and HIV misclassification. Findings Global HIV incidence reached its peak in 1997, at 3·3 million new infections (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·1–3·4 million). Annual incidence has stayed relatively constant at about 2·6 million per year (range 2·5–2·8 million) since 2005, after a period of fast decline between 1997 and 2005. The number of people living with HIV/AIDS has been steadily increasing and reached 38·8 million (95% UI 37·6–40·4 million) in 2015. At the same time, HIV/AIDS mortality has been declining at a steady pace, from a peak of 1·8 million deaths (95% UI 1·7–1·9 million) in 2005, to 1·2 million deaths (1·1–1·3 million) in 2015. We recorded substantial heterogeneity in the levels and trends of HIV/AIDS across countries. Although many countries have experienced decreases in HIV/AIDS mortality and in annual new infections, other countries have had slowdowns or increases in rates of change in annual new infections. Interpretation Scale-up of ART and prevention of mother-to-child transmission has been one of the great successes of global health in the past two decades. However, in the past decade, progress in reducing new infections has been slow, development assistance for health devoted to HIV has stagnated, and resources for health in low-income countries have grown slowly. Achievement of the new ambitious goals for HIV enshrined in Sustainable Development Goal 3 and the 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets will be challenging, and will need continued efforts from governments and international agencies in the next 15 years to end AIDS by 2030. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.
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            Relative indicators and relational charts for comparative assessment of publication output and citation impact

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              Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): A New Metric That Uses Citation Rates to Measure Influence at the Article Level

              Despite their recognized limitations, bibliometric assessments of scientific productivity have been widely adopted. We describe here an improved method to quantify the influence of a research article by making novel use of its co-citation network to field-normalize the number of citations it has received. Article citation rates are divided by an expected citation rate that is derived from performance of articles in the same field and benchmarked to a peer comparison group. The resulting Relative Citation Ratio is article level and field independent and provides an alternative to the invalid practice of using journal impact factors to identify influential papers. To illustrate one application of our method, we analyzed 88,835 articles published between 2003 and 2010 and found that the National Institutes of Health awardees who authored those papers occupy relatively stable positions of influence across all disciplines. We demonstrate that the values generated by this method strongly correlate with the opinions of subject matter experts in biomedical research and suggest that the same approach should be generally applicable to articles published in all areas of science. A beta version of iCite, our web tool for calculating Relative Citation Ratios of articles listed in PubMed, is available at https://icite.od.nih.gov.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                7 February 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Doctorate Program on Science, Technology and Society, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
                [2 ] Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                [3 ] Small Globe Incorporated, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                [4 ] Biochemistry Department, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
                Universidade de Brasilia, BRAZIL
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-19369
                10.1371/journal.pone.0191267
                5802490
                29415003
                © 2018 León-de la O et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Counts
                Figures: 8, Tables: 5, Pages: 28
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (MX)
                Award ID: 367868
                Award Recipient :
                This work has been supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) Mexico, under grant number: 367868. DILO. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Biotechnology
                People and places
                Population groupings
                Ethnicities
                Latin American people
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                South America
                Colombia
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                South America
                Brazil
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                South America
                Argentina
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                South America
                Chile (Country)
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                North America
                Caribbean
                Cuba
                People and places
                Geographical locations
                North America
                Mexico
                Custom metadata
                The scientometric analysis was based on data extracted from the Web of Science ® Core Collection ( http://clarivate.com/scientific-and-academic-research/research-discovery/web-of-science/). The Latin American countries GDP data are available in the World Bank Group Research and Development Expenditure data ( http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/GB.XPD.RSDV.GD.ZS), the OECD Gross domestic spending on R&D data ( https://data.oecd.org/rd/gross-domestic-spending-on-r-d.htm), and Konema data ( http://knoema.es/atlas/Cuba/topics/Investigación-y-desarrollo/Gasto-en-IandD/Gasto-IandD-percent-del-PIB). The number of inhabitants in Latin American countries data is available in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs data ( https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/). All other relevant data are available via Dryad (DOI: 10.5061/dryad.269k8).

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