Scientific publication productivity of Libyan medical schools: a bibliometric study of papers listed in PubMed, 1988-2007.

Original article


Benamer HTS 1, Bredan A 2, Bakoush O 3.

1-Neurology Department, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, England. 2-Department of Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. 3-Department of Nephrology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Sweden.

Educ Health (Abingdon). 2009 Aug;22(2):310


Background: Scientific publication is a vital mission of medical schools and it is important to periodically document how well schools fulfil this mission.
Aims: This study aimed to analyse the publication record of Libyan medical schools in international journals indexed in PubMed between 1988 and 2007.
Methods: Medline was searched using PubMed for publications affiliated to Libya during 1988-2007.
Results: Out of 417 papers related to Libya, 348 (84%) are affiliated to the medical schools and related hospitals. More than 60% of the 348 papers are affiliated to Al-Arab Medical University, Benghazi, while Al-Fateh Medical University, Tripoli, contributed 103 papers (30%). The rest of the papers (n=25, 7%) were published by medical schools in other parts of the country. The publication rate declined by 3% annually between 1988 and 2007. The decline was mainly due to a decrease in the publication rate by Al-Arab Medical University, Benghazi. Overall, nine departments produced 10 or more papers each. Out of about 1675 staff members, there are only 148 first authors and 207 last authors. The estimated annual publication rate is 0.7 papers per 100 academic staff members.
Conclusion: This study reveals that published scholarship of the Libyan medical schools is extremely low, that the publication rate has declined, and that most academic staff have no publications listed in PubMed. This issue needs urgent attention.

Keywords: Libya, Medical schools, Medline, PubMed, Biomedical Publications, Research