To identify the strengths and weaknesses in a given research area, it is necessary to analyze the published literature. International studies on podiatry research productivity are scarce. This study aimed to analyze scientific productivity in the area of podiatric medicine from 1965 to 2017.
This was a retrospective, observational, bibliometric study. The MEDLINE database was used to identify research published between 1965 and 2017. Literature searches were performed in 2010 and 2017 through RefWorks, and research production per year, author, document type, country, institution, journal, and language were calculated. Podiatry's contribution to global scientific production was measured by calculating the ratio of podiatry publications to total production, and Price's law was applied to analyze the temporal evolution. Author productivity index, coauthorship, geographic distribution, and the distribution by institution type and journal (Bradford's law) were analyzed.
The MEDLINE search yielded 1,256 publications, representing 4.75 articles per 100,000 publications in global scientific research. The growth rate followed Price's law after linear adjustment. The 2,229 identified authors presented a transience index of 85.73%; 0.38% were highly productive authors. The coauthorship index increased from 1.40 in 1965 to 5.80 in 2017. The most common document type was the journal article, whereas 2.1% were clinical trials. Only one document reported a controlled clinical trial. The United States led scientific production, with 77.15% of the documents; 60.5% of the publications were concentrated in four journals.
Podiatry is still an emerging research field, and literature is concentrated in a small number of journals, categorized into different subjects.