Longitudinal trends in global obesity research and collaboration: A review using bibliometric metadata

A. Khan, N. Choudhury, S. Uddin, L. Hossain, L. A. Baur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to understand research trends and collaboration patterns together with scholarly impact within the domain of global obesity research. We developed and analysed bibliographic affiliation data collected from 117,340 research articles indexed in Scopus database on the topic of obesity and published from 1993-2012. We found steady growth and an exponential increase of publication numbers. Research output in global obesity research roughly doubled each 5years, with almost 80% of the publications and authors from the second decade (2003-2012). The highest publication output was from the USA - 42% of publications had at least one author from the USA. Many US institutions also ranked highly in terms of research output and collaboration. Fifteen of the top-20 institutions in terms of publication output were from the USA; however, several European and Japanese research institutions ranked more highly in terms of average citations per paper. The majority of obesity research and collaboration has been confined to developed countries although developing countries have showed higher growth in recent times, e.g. the publication ratio between 2003-2012 and 1993-2002 for developing regions was much higher than that of developed regions (9:1 vs. 4:1). We also identified around 42 broad disciplines from authors' affiliation data, and these showed strong collaboration between them. Overall, this study provides one of the most comprehensive longitudinal bibliometric analyses of obesity research. This should help in understanding research trends, spatial density, collaboration patterns and the complex multi-disciplinary nature of research in the obesity domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number4
Early online date11 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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