Ethiopian Biomedical Research Publication and International Visibility Trends in the Last Three Decades

  • BL Wamisho
  • T Shibere
  • T Teshome


Background: Reports indicate that most African countries have low level of publications that could appear in the internationally recognized websites and databases and most of the published works are also too weak to influence local practices and policy makers. The objective of this study is to show the listing/output of human biomedical publications from Ethiopia and identify trends observed on the world largest medical database. The study also tries to summarize the general trends observed and the relations with factors like national GDP. Method: we reviewed a complete list of biomedical research outputs from Ethiopia using the largest electronic database-PubMed; so as to enable us examine its international visibility and trends of Ethiopian first authorship in the last three decades. The trend of publication was also examined in relation to the country’s Gross National Per capita (GDP) Results: Altogether there were 4,687 articles published between 1980 and 2008. Even though the impact Factor (IF) is low, the Ethiopian Medical Journal (EMJ) is a leading publisher of scientific articles from Ethiopia with 839 publications during the period. HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis related health issues were the most frequently published researches. The total number of articles published yearly showed steady growth from 49 in 1980 to 367 in 2008. The increase in the number of published articles matched the growth of the National Domestic Product, per capita. Conclusion: The number of published works from the country in the last three decades is one of the lowest by any standard. Generally, there is a slightly increasing matched trend of Ethiopian GDP and number of articles published over the last three decades. Ethiopian First authorship emerged and kept dominating starting a decade and half ago. We recommend that this trend has to further be strengthened and continued.

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eISSN: 2073-9990