4 decades and the leading Arab Kingdom in ophthalmology research


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has topped the Arab countries in ophthalmology research for 4 decades, according to a study conducted to analyze the outputs of Arab researchers in ophthalmology, and used metrology to describe the case of Saudi ophthalmology specifically.

The highest productivity

A bibliometric analysis of the study, published in cureus, showed that the quantity and quality of ophthalmology research in the Kingdom has skyrocketed over the past four decades. It was also the highest in ophthalmology research productivity among the Arab countries, and ranks first in the eastern world.

The results of this analysis could serve as a benchmark for future studies, aid in resource allocation within the Kingdom, and promote further advances in ophthalmology research.

Active institutions

King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital and King Saud University have been the most active institutions in disseminating ophthalmology research in the Arab world, and the latter has been more active recently. The Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology ranked second in publishing articles related to Saudi Arabia after investigating eyes and visual sciences.

Published articles

During the period from 1980 to 2019, Saudi ophthalmologists published a total of 2,178 articles. The annual number of articles published was about 20 during the 1980s, then began to gradually increase over the next two decades, reaching just over 60 articles per year in 2010. Then the annual number of publications during the last decade of the studied time frame increased to 180. An article in 2019.

200 million scientific articles

Launched in 2010, the Saudi Digital Library (SDL) is an online academic portal that contains more than 200 million scientific articles, including digital books, magazines, periodicals, audio-visual materials and databases.

More recently, the Ministry of Education provided access to the SDL to students and faculty at all Saudi universities, a major step that would help advance education and publishing processes.

Since all Saudi academic users now have access to SDL, it is expected that bibliometric analysis will be used to explore the productivity of publications for each area in setting up accessible search engines such as: PubMed, WoS, Scopus, Google Scholar, and many more.

Great achievements

In addition to academic institutions, research centers in government hospitals have shown great productivity achievements in ophthalmology research.

An excellent example is the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH), where a budget is allocated to support research-related activities.

In addition, the Saudi Ophthalmological Society (SOS) has contributed in particular to improving research by organizing local meetings and awarding an annual award for the best research project.

In 1986, SOS launched the Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology, which, along with the Medical Journal (1979), and Annals of Saudi Medicine (1985), is one of the oldest and most respected journals in the Kingdom.

Increase posts

One explanation for the noticeable increase in Saudi publications over the past ten years is that the number of practicing ophthalmologists has gradually increased over the past decade. In addition, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) has finally implemented research project points as a condition for applying for a residency position in ophthalmology. Furthermore, research is included as part of the curriculum for both residency and fellowship training programs.

Improve your search ranking

The report stated that although the state of ophthalmology research in the Kingdom appears satisfactory, Saudi ophthalmologists should strive to improve the global research ranking, adding that there are many strategies that could further develop the current ophthalmology research practice.

One suggestion is that academic institutions should prioritize allocating research funds based on periodic bibliometric analysis at the center level. In addition, given that a large proportion of medical research practice in the Kingdom is the result of individual efforts that consume a lot of time and resources, having a dedicated research department in every institution, which includes staff trained to conduct research, will add great value and help overcome many obstacles. In practice research.

The 10 most active Arab institutions in ophthalmology research from 1980 to 2019

1- King Saud University

2- King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital

3- King Khalid University Hospital

4- Cairo University (Egypt)

5- American University of Beirut (Lebanon)

6- University of Tunis Al-Manar (Tunisia)

7- The General Authority for Hospitals and Educational Institutes (Egypt)

8- Ophthalmology Research Institute (Egypt)

9- Alexandria University (Egypt)

10- King Abdulaziz University

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