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      Scientometric trends and knowledge maps of global health systems research

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          Abstract

          Background

          In the last few decades, health systems research (HSR) has garnered much attention with a rapid increase in the related literature. This study aims to review and evaluate the global progress in HSR and assess the current quantitative trends.

          Methods

          Based on data from the Web of Science database, scientometric methods and knowledge visualization techniques were applied to evaluate global scientific production and develop trends of HSR from 1900 to 2012.

          Results

          HSR has increased rapidly over the past 20 years. Currently, there are 28,787 research articles published in 3,674 journals that are listed in 140 Web of Science subject categories. The research in this field has mainly focused on public, environmental and occupational health (6,178, 21.46%), health care sciences and services (5,840, 20.29%), and general and internal medicine (3,783, 13.14%). The top 10 journals had published 2,969 (10.31%) articles and received 5,229 local citations and 40,271 global citations. The top 20 authors together contributed 628 papers, which accounted for a 2.18% share in the cumulative worldwide publications. The most productive author was McKee, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, with 48 articles. In addition, USA and American institutions ranked the first in health system research productivity, with high citation times, followed by the UK and Canada.

          Conclusions

          HSR is an interdisciplinary area. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries showed they are the leading nations in HSR. Meanwhile, American and Canadian institutions and the World Health Organization play a dominant role in the production, collaboration, and citation of high quality articles. Moreover, health policy and analysis research, health systems and sub-systems research, healthcare and services research, health, epidemiology and economics of communicable and non-communicable diseases, primary care research, health economics and health costs, and pharmacy of hospital have been identified as the mainstream topics in HSR fields. These findings will provide evidence of the current status and trends in HSR all over the world, as well as clues to the impact of this popular topic; thus, helping scientific researchers and policy makers understand the panorama of HSR and predict the dynamic directions of research.

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          Most cited references 103

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          Cluster analysis and display of genome-wide expression patterns

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            Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping

            We present VOSviewer, a freely available computer program that we have developed for constructing and viewing bibliometric maps. Unlike most computer programs that are used for bibliometric mapping, VOSviewer pays special attention to the graphical representation of bibliometric maps. The functionality of VOSviewer is especially useful for displaying large bibliometric maps in an easy-to-interpret way. The paper consists of three parts. In the first part, an overview of VOSviewer’s functionality for displaying bibliometric maps is provided. In the second part, the technical implementation of specific parts of the program is discussed. Finally, in the third part, VOSviewer’s ability to handle large maps is demonstrated by using the program to construct and display a co-citation map of 5,000 major scientific journals.
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              Overcoming health-systems constraints to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

              Effective interventions exist for many priority health problems in low income countries; prices are falling, and funds are increasing. However, progress towards agreed health goals remains slow. There is increasing consensus that stronger health systems are key to achieving improved health outcomes. There is much less agreement on quite how to strengthen them. Part of the challenge is to get existing and emerging knowledge about more (and less) effective strategies into practice. The evidence base also remains remarkably weak, partly because health-systems research has an image problem. The forthcoming Ministerial Summit on Health Research seeks to help define a learning agenda for health systems, so that by 2015, substantial progress will have been made to reducing the system constraints to achieving the MDGs.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Health Res Policy Syst
                Health Res Policy Syst
                Health Research Policy and Systems
                BioMed Central
                1478-4505
                2014
                5 June 2014
                : 12
                : 26
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Medicine and Health Management, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China
                [2 ]Center for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China
                [3 ]Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz München 180539, Germany
                Article
                1478-4505-12-26
                10.1186/1478-4505-12-26
                4065315
                24903126
                Copyright © 2014 Yao et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Research

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