The Keio Journal of Medicine

Japanfs share of research output in basic medical science
Mahbubur Rahman, Junichi Sakamoto and Tsuguya Fukui

Objective: To investigate the degree of Japan's contribution to the research in basic biomedicalscience in the last decade. Methods: Articles published during 1991-2000 in highly reputedbasic biomedical science journals (10 journals from each of the 16 categories related to basic biomedicalscience) were accessed through Medline database. The number of articles having affiliation with a Japanese institution was then determined using appropriate search strategies. Results: In total 312,748 articles were published in the selected journals and Japan's share was 20,665 articles (6.6% of total) with an upward trend over time (p=0.01). Japan's share was higher in the journals, which publish mostly original articles (6.9%) than that in the journals, which publish only review articles (2.6%). The former group showed an upward trend (p=0.01) over time (1991-2000) while the latter did not (p=0.08). Among the 16 categories, Japan had significantly positive trend in 7 categories while others remained unchanged. Conclusions: Japan's share of original articles for basic medical science has increased in the last decade. On the other hand, its share of review articles was low and has remained stagnant in the same period.