|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 28-35
Quantitative and qualitative assessment of Indian research yield in type 1 diabetes during 1996–2020
Devi Dayal1, Brij Mohan Gupta2, Saniya Gupta1
1 Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Center, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||15-Jun-2020|
|Date of Decision||30-Jul-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||07-Aug-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||25-Dec-2020|
Prof. Devi Dayal
Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Center, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012.
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a well-researched disease globally. The Indian contribution to global T1D research is unknown. Objective: The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive assessment of publication output of Indian authors in the field of T1D. Materials and Methods: Scopus database was used to retrieve Indian publications on T1D during 1996–2019. The extracted data included the number of publications, citation metrics, top productive organizations and authors, research collaborations, most cited papers, and active journals, and were analyzed using appropriate bibliometric indicators. Results: Globally, the USA leads the ranking, of about 100 countries which participated in T1D research, with 29.3% of publication share, followed by UK (11.4%), and Germany, Italy, and Australia (6.9%–5.0%). India contributed only 1.7% (513 publications) share of global output, registered annual growth of 26.3% and averaged 9.7 citations per paper (CPP). Only 21.6% of publications involved international collaboration and 15.7% received funding. The two most productive organizations were PGIMER, Chandigarh and AIIMS, New Delhi with 51 and 43 papers, respectively. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (42 papers) and International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries (24 papers) were the two leading Indian journals, which published research on this topic.
Keywords: Bibliometrics, diabetes research, Indian publications, scientometric analysis, type 1 diabetes
|How to cite this article:|
Dayal D, Gupta BM, Gupta S. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of Indian research yield in type 1 diabetes during 1996–2020. J Diabetol 2021;12:28-35
| Introduction|| |
The incidence and prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing worldwide. About 5%–10% of the estimated 425million population of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes (T1D). A vast majority of T1D has onset during childhood and adolescence. Over the past few decades, an average increase of 3%–4% in incidence of T1D has been observed globally with a steeper increase in countries with previously low incidence. Among countries in South-East Asia (SEA), India has witnessed a sharp increase in the incidence of T1D and has recently surpassed the USA in the number of incident cases of T1D in children and adolescents. However, the Indian research in T1D lags behind other countries which have disease burden similar to India.
There are several country-specific factors related to T1D that need extensive indigenous research. Disease heterogeneity due to ethnic differences, differences in modes of presentation, higher rates of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), adaptability of new insulin regimens to our patient population are a few factors that may have a different basis as compared to Western countries., Researchers also feel the need to further study the differences in environmental triggers for the autoimmunity, and immunological responses in Indian patients with T1D., In addition, we urgently require research into low-cost insulins and delivery devices, blood glucose monitoring devices, and use of digital communication tools to improve the care of people with T1D in a low-resource set-up like ours. A substantial research is also needed into how to improve the compromised access to specialty care for patients in rural healthcare settings, where deaths before or soon after diagnosis of T1D are still common, and which very often gets overwhelmed while handling additional burden due to other diseases.,
The assessment of research is often accomplished by scientometric analysis which helps scientists, policymakers, and research organizations to identify gaps in research and then plan, develop, and implement research strategies accordingly. Unfortunately, there are limited data on assessment of Indian research on T1D unlike Type 2 diabetes (T2D) which has been assessed periodically probably reflecting the larger disease burden and preference over T1D by Indian diabetologists.,, A recent assessment of global research on pediatric T1D mentions the meager contribution by Indian researchers during the last 20 years. Another scientometric assessment of Indian research output in T1D is focused on childhood-onset T1D only. With an aim to address the lack of a comprehensive assessment of research on T1D in India, we planned to conduct a qualitative as well as quantitative review of publication output of Indian authors in this field over the last about 25 years.
We aimed to analyze Indian research on T1D using bibliometric indicators on publications indexed in the Scopus database (http://www.scopus.com) during 1996–2019. The analysis included publication output of the topmost productive countries vis-a-vis India’s output in terms of growth, distribution by publication and source type, citation impact, national and international collaboration, contribution and impact of top Indian organizations and authors, identification of important media of communication, and features of highly cited papers.
| Materials and Methods|| |
The main search strategy used two keywords namely “Type 1 diabetes” or “Diabetes, Type 1” suffixed to keyword “KEY” and article title “TITLE” tags, further refined to period “>1995 and <2020.” The global publication records were refined by country (including India) to identify top most productive countries. A similar search strategy string (shown below) was developed for Indian publications which were further examined on broad subjects, collaborating countries and linkages, author-wise, organization-wise, and journal-wise distribution by using analytical provisions of Scopus database. Citations to publications were counted from the date of their publication till February 26, 2020.
KEY(“Type 1 diabetes” OR “Diabetes, Type 1”) OR TITLE(“Type 1 diabetes” OR “Diabetes, Type 1”) AND PUBYEAR >1995 AND PUBYEAR <2020 AND (LIMIT-TO (AFFILCOUNTRY,“India”))
| Results|| |
Overall profile of publications
The global and Indian publications cumulated to 29,008 and 513 publications, respectively. The annual growth was 17.1% and 26.3%, up from 112 and 2 publications in the year 1996 to 2413 and 76 publications in the year 2019, respectively [Table 1]. The absolute growth of global and Indian publications was 174% and 684%, respectively, up from 7755 and 58 publications during 1996–2007 to 21,253 and 455 publications during 2008–2019. India’s overall share during 1996–2019 was 1.77%, which increased from 0.75% during 1996–2007 to 2.14% during 2008–2019. India’s publications averaged 8.87 citations per paper (CPP). However, the citation impact decreased from 17.98 CPP during 1996–2007 to 7.71 CPP during 2008–2019. Of the total Indian publications, 77.58% (398) appeared as original articles, 9.6% (49) as reviews, 5.3% (27) as letters, 3.3% (17) as conference papers, 1.8% (9) as notes, 1.4% (7)as editorials, and 1.2% (6) as book chapters.
|Table 1: India and the world’s publication output and citations metrics in type 1 diabetes research, 1996–2019|
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Only 125 (24.3%) Indian publications constituted international collaborative papers (ICP). These papers received 1914 citations (average 15.3 CPP). The share of ICP decreased from 43.1% (1996–2007) to 21.9% (2008–2019). The USA contributed the largest number of papers (49, 39.2%), followed by the UK (25, 20.0%), Australia and Sweden (14 each, 11.2%), Canada (13, 10.4%), and Italy (11, 8.8%) [Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM) [Table 1]].
|ESM Table 1: Number and share of international collaborative papers in Type 1 diabetes research during 1996-2019|
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Sources of funding
Only 79 (15.4%) research papers were funded during 1996–2019 and these received 907 citations (12.7 CPP). The citations of 41 publications funded by 16 Indian agencies were lower (287, average 7.0 CPP) as compared to the other 38 which received support from 49 foreign funding agencies (620, average 16.3 CPP) [ESM [Table 2]].
|ESM Table 2: Top 10 Indian and foreign funding agencies supporting research type 1 diabetes in India during 1996-2019|
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Publications according to affected age group
The T1D research was mainly focused on adults and children with 32.5% and 30.6% share followed by middle-aged (8.2%) and elderly (3.5%). Minor shifts in the age-related focus were noted from 1996 to 2019 [ESM [Table 3]].
|ESM Table 3: Classification of publications according to population age groups|
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Top 10 countries
A large chunk (81.46%) of the global research has emanated from only 10 of the100 countries that carried out research in T1D. The USA led the ranking with 29.3% share, followed by the UK (11.4%), Germany, Italy and Australia (6.9% to 5.0%), Sweden, Canada, Japan and Denmark (4.8% to 4.2%) and France (3.8%). Only three countries namely USA, Australia and Denmark increased their global share from 0.14% to 5.72%, against a decrease (from 0.67% to 1.95%) in six other countries, namely Sweden, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy [Table 2]. India is currently ranked 17th with 1.77% of the global share of publications.
|Table 2: Share of top 10 most productive countries in global publication output in type 1 diabetes research, 1996–2019|
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Subject-wise distribution of research output
Medicine was the most prominent subject in India’s T1D research with 74.3% publication share followed distantly by biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology (41.9% share), immunology and microbiology and pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutics (7.4% share each), agricultural and biological sciences (2.7% share) and neurosciences (2.3% share). Based on the activity index, a decrease in research activities was observed in all subjects except pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmaceutics. Agricultural and biological sciences recorded the highest CPP of 18.9 pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmaceutics recorded the least CPP of 8.55 [ESM [Table 4]].
|ESM Table 4: Subject-wise breakup of Indian publications on type 1 diabetes research during 1996-2019|
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A majority of the T1D research (320 papers, 62.4%) was conducted on complications of T1D; the share of such papers has increased from 32.8% during 1996–2007 to 66.2% during 2008–2019. The most and the least researched complications were DKA and stroke, respectively [ESM [Table 5]].
|ESM Table 5: Distribution of publications specific complications of type 1 diabetes during 1996-2019|
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We identified 69 significant keywords from the literature which shed light on the T1D research trends in India [ESM [Table 6]].
|ESM Table 6: List of significant keywords appearing in Indian publications in type 1 diabetes research, 1996-2019|
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Top Indian organizations
During 1996–2019, 261 organizations participated in T1D research of which 233, 22 and 6 organizations published 1–5, 6–10, and 11–51 papers each, respectively. The productivity of top 15 most productive organizations varied from 5 to 51 publications per organization; together they contributed 62.4% (320 papers) to India’s publications share and 60.2% (2741 papers) to India’s citations share [Table 3].
|Table 3: Top Indian organizations in type 1 diabetes research during 1996–2019|
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Five organizations registered their publication output above the group average (10.7) of 15 most productive organizations. These were PGIMER, Chandigarh (51 papers), AIIMS, New Delhi (43 papers), Bharti Hospital, Karnal (27 papers), MDRF, Chennai (19 papers), and SGPIMER, Lucknow (16 papers) [Table 3]. Thirteen organizations registered their CPP and relative citation index (RCI) above the group average of 8.5 and 0.97, respectively.
Collaboration links among top 15 organizations
The largest collaborative linkages (14 each with 6–7 organizations) were made by AIIMS, New Delhi and Bharti Hospital, Karnal, followed by IPGMER, Kolkata (nine linkages with six organizations), MDRF-Chennai (eight linkages with five organizations), DRC-Chennai and KEMH-Pune (seven linkages and seven organizations each), PGIMER, Chandigarh and Fortis Healthcare, Gurgaon (six linkages with four and one organizations), and five other organizations registering one to four linkages [ESM [Table 7]].
|ESM Table 7: Collaborative linkages among Top 15 organizations during 1996-2019|
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Top Indian authors
Of the 313 authors who participated in India’s T1D research during 1996–2019, 283 published 1–5 papers each, 20 published 6–10 papers each and 10 published 11–32 papers each. The research productivity of top 15 most productive authors varied from 5 to 32 publications per author; together they contributed 62.6% (321) publications share and 65% (2962) citations share. [Table 4] lists the 20 most productive authors in T1D research in India. Ten authors registered their publications output above the group average of 10.7, whereas nine authors registered their CPP and RCI above the group average of 9.2 and 14 [Table 4].
Collaboration links among top 15 authors
The largest number of collaborative linkages were registered by five authors affiliated to AIIMS, New Delhi, namely N Tandon, N Kumar, U Kanga, G Kaur, and N K Mehra followed by D Dayal, S K Bhadada, A Bhansali, and R Kumar from PGIMER, Chandigarh. Authors from six other organizations had 2–7 collaborative linkages [ESM [Table 8]]. Authors from AIIMS, New Delhi and PGIMER, Chandigarh have major collaborative linkages with authors of their own organizations, and minor linkages with authors of other organizations. Between organizations, AIIMS recorded the highest number of linkages followed by PGIMER, Chandigarh.
|ESM Table 8: Collaborative linkages among top 15 authors during 1996-2019|
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Medium of research communication
A major proportion of research output (95.71%, 491 publications) appeared in journals, 1.8% (9 publications) as book series, 1.36% (7 publications) as conference proceedings, 0.97% (5 publications) as books and 0.19% (1 publications) as undefined. Of the 160 journals which reported 491 articles, 142 published 1–5 papers each, 11 published 6–10 papers each and 7 published 11–42 papers each. The top 30 most productive journals published 3 to 42 papers and together accounted for 53.4% share of research output that appeared in journal medium. [Table 5] shows the most productive and the most impactful journals in India’s T1D research.
|Table 5: Most productive and most impactful journals in type 1 diabetes research|
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High impact publications
Only 25 (4.8%) publications (20 original articles, 3 reviews, and 2 letters) were well-cited with cumulative citations of 1254 averaging 50.2 CPP (range 40–280). Fifteen, 7 and 3 papers, respectively, registered 40–50, 52–74, and 120–280 CPP. Nine publications had no collaboration whereas 16 had two or more collaborating organizations per paper (6 national and10international). The USA collaborated in 5 papers followed by Italy (3 papers), Australia and Germany (2 papers each), and Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungry, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, and UK (1 paper each). Among Indian participating organizations, 4 papers are contributed by SP Medical College, Bikaner, 3 by AIIMS, New Delhi, and 2 each by Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, NRCC, Bikaner and PGIMER, Chandigarh. The 25 highly cited papers are published in 23 journals [ESM [Table 9]].
|ESM Table 9: List of highly cited publications by Indian authors in the field of type 1 diabetes|
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| Discussion|| |
Our scientometric analysis identified several lacunae in the Indian research yield in the field of T1D. The mismatch between disease burden and research is reflected in the reduced quality of life and life expectancy of Indian T1D patients in contrast to their counterparts in developed countries who lead near-normal lives. The research remains largely individual-driven in India. Even the research capacity strengthening initiatives have largely focused on building individual capacity and not institutional or national capacity, resulting in poor long-term impact and sustainability even though appearing to have promising short-term outcomes. In the advanced countries, the focused research initiatives for T1D supported by their national governments have been able to show sustained results over time.,
Although India has shown improvement in the quantity of published T1D research over the last several years, the quality of research as judged by citation impact of publications has shown a decrease. The CPP decreased by 57.1% during 2008–2019 in comparison to 1996–2007. An important reason could be the decreased international collaboration in research from 43.1% to 21.9% as the quality of such collaborative research in terms of citation impact is far superior to indigenous research. Secondly, the financial support needed to perform and publish high-quality research is usually lacking in India due to several reasons. Thirdly, among the noncommunicable diseases, T1D does not receive due attention in national healthcare. It is well known that T2D gets priority in clinical practice as well as research due to its enormous burden in India. Fourthly, the biases in publishing and citing research conducted by authors belonging to developing countries may also have contributed to the lower impact and hence the quality of T1D research. Lastly, the increase in T1D research activity is quite recent in India having increased from 58 papers during 1996–2007 to 455 publications during the last 12-year period. As citations are accumulated over time, the relatively recent high-quality publications from India are likely to become highly cited over the next few years and will add to the research quality in T1D.,,,, In particular, the publications resulting from a focused research on the role of T-cells in the pathogenesis of T1D by the group of researchers from PGIMER will possibly contribute to enhance the quality of T1D research in India.,,,,, Publications on the role of vitamin D in T1D from the same group have accumulated a fair number of citations.,,, To improve the quality of research in T1D, there is a need for a collective and concerted effort by the Indian government, research organizations, professional bodies, and researchers with a vested interest in T1D. The government needs to increase financial support for T1D research to build capacity for conducting high-quality research. Research organizations such as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) should lead from the front to prioritize T1D research, formulate strategy and mission similar to what was done in countries with high T1D burden., A national task force may be entrusted to identify priority research areas and guide research in T1D., Several professional agencies such as Research Society of Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), Endocrine Society of India (ESI), Association of Physicians of India, Indian Medical Association and Indian Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology (ISPAE) should support T1D research similar to their counterparts in other countries. A collaborative approach by Indian researchers somewhat similar to the Pediatric Diabetes Consortium in the USA will also help in improving research in T1D. The sustained increase in research activity will improve the quantity and quality of Indian publication output in addition to improving the care of people suffering from T1D.
We understand that the current scientometric assessment has some limitations. We were probably unable to capture all the published Indian research in T1D despite standardizing the author names and resolving the issue of synonyms or homonyms in names by using other specific fields such as affiliations. A simultaneous search in PubMed showed additional 8 articles each for the two top Indian authors in T1D. A simultaneous search in the three main literature databases, that is, Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science has been suggested to improve data capturing., Still, all publications from developing countries may not be retrieved due to underrepresentation in international databases. Notwithstanding the limitations, our bibliometric assessment was able to identify gaps in the T1D research in India which may have important implications for the country’s research programs in the field of T1D.
| Conclusion|| |
Indian research yield in T1D falls short quantitatively as well as qualitatively as compared to developed countries. There is a need to conduct high-quality intra-, and inter-country collaborative research by Indian researchers, professional bodies, and research organizations sufficiently funded by the national government. The research output scientometrically measured in terms of quality of publications needs to match the disease burden as well as improve the quality of life of Indian T1D patients.
| Financial support and sponsorship|| |
| Conflicts of interest|| |
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11], [Table 12], [Table 13], [Table 14]