Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Some Bulgarian Pre-Enlargement Research Trends

Academic journal article Central European Journal of Public Health

Some Bulgarian Pre-Enlargement Research Trends

Article excerpt

SUMMARY

Aim. Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007. This study aims to analyse Bulgarian scientific health output over a five year period before enlargement, highlighting both its interests and concordance with European health recommendations.

Methods. A bibliometric analysis was undertaken in MEDLINE between 2000 and 2004 according to a year-by-year bibliographic search. The articles were classified by fourteen fields according to the main European Union health report recommendations.

Results. 2,176 articles were found, distributed as follows: 15.63% in 2000, 20.50% in 2001, 20.63% in 2002, 19.9% in 2003 and 23.25% in 2004. 89.48% of the articles were written in English, 78.81% of the total scientific output was published abroad. Most of the articles were signed by Bulgarian authors and were carried out in Bulgarian research centers.

Conclusion. Increased number of articles was noted mainly in the basic research field and global clinical medicine. Bulgarian research priorities generally were aligned with the European Union health recommendations. More sources are recommended to be consulted and more analysis conducted of the Bulgarian research.

Key ords: bibliometrics, health, research, scientific output, Bulgaria, European Union

INTRODUCTION

Significant interest in scientific research has been observed in recent decades in Europe, including health research (1). Several European countries increased their scientific output (SO) year by year and sometimes the scientists show their support for research through public demonstration (2-5). European union support for research has been demonstrated by financial investment, such as the 73 billion euro fund, of which 8.37 billions of euro were alloted for health research (6). The European Parliament (EP) has also proposed greater solidarity and increased international co-operation between countries in health issues (7). This could have a positive effect on research, since one of the factors which must be taken into account when discussing medical research in Europe are countries' levels of SO, particularly when considering the specific characteristics of specific Member States. Since scientific research in Europe places great importance on the field of health and the European Union (EU) moved its boundaries to East, Eastern Europe is an ideal area in which to study this sector. The Balkan region requires greater attention, taking into account the lack of reforms, documented dysfunction in the field of health and the decrease in life expectancy after the 1990s in comparison with the 'old' Member States (8, 9). Bulgaria, where the majority of financial resources in the medical field used to be provided from central public funds - as was the case in other former Communist countries (10), is a country which economy changed post- 1989, following the change of political regime. In spite of some difficulties experienced while seeking to meet the conditions for entry set by the European Council, which was closely monitoring the country's progress, in 2007 Bulgaria became a new Member State of the EU (11). This did not exempt Bulgaria from continuing in its efforts to solve its health problems, such as modest conditions in mental health institutions or child welfare provisions (12), the declining Bulgarian population, infant and total mortality figures, tuberculosis, and ischaemic heart disease and stroke (13). The principal post- 1990 health reform law was the Bulgarian Health Act 2004 (14).

The bibliometric analysis may allow the study of SO and/or its evolution, in national or international context, in specific or general field in accordance with specific period of time. The aim of this work was to study Bulgarian scientific health output retrieved from the database MEDLINE (accessed through PubMed) and to analyze its characteristics over a five year period, documenting both its tendency and its agreement with the EP 's health strategy by means of a bibliographic review. …

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