Qatar biomedical and cancer publications in PubMed between 2000 and 2012.

Zeeneldin AA, Taha FM. Qatar biomedical and cancer publications in PubMed between 2000 and 2012. Qatar Med J. 2014;2014(1):31-7. copy at


BACKGROUND: The aim of this work was to analyse the past trends of biomedical and cancer publications from Qatar listed on PubMed for the years 2000-2012. These findings were then compared with the corresponding global number of publications.

METHODS: PubMed was searched for cancer publications, clinical trials, publications on humans or other species. Searching for "Qatar*" in the "Affiliation" field yielded the lowest number of publications; searching for "Qatar*" in the "Affiliation" or in "Title/Abstract" yielded a moderate number of results and searching for "Qatar*" in the "Affiliation" or "Title/Abstract" or "Text Word" fields yielded the highest number of publications. The annual percentage change (APC) from one year to the next was calculated for the population and each type of publication. Information on the population of Qatar was gathered from the website of Qatar Statistics Authority to determine the correlation of papers published per 1000 population.

RESULTS: The number of publications retrieved from PubMed was not particularly different for each variation of search carried out. However, the most representative number of publications was retrieved upon searching for "Qatar*" in the "Affiliation" or in "Title/Abstract" fields. Between the years 2000 and 2012, the total number of biomedical publications from Qatar increased 24 times with an average APC of 33.4%, which was found to be more than the APC of the population in Qatar which averaged at 9%. The number of biomedical publications per 1000 population increased from 0.02 in 2000 to 0.15% in 2012. Most publications retrieved were humans studies and occasionally were for other animal species. Cancer publications in Qatar represented 16.9% of the total publications and the number of cancer publications per 1000 population increased from 0% in 2000 to 0.02% in 2012. Publications classified as clinical trials represented 4.6% of Qatar biomedical publications. Publication of cancer clinical trials were very rare (0.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the obvious increase in Qatar biomedical and cancer publications in PubMed, the absolute numbers were relatively small. While strategies are in place, leaders of Qatar biomedical research need to consider increasing cancer research and clinical trials to meet the country's needs. Linking research output to researchers, research facilities and research funding is needed.