Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Research Trends in Medical Physics: A Global Perspective

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Research Trends in Medical Physics: A Global Perspective

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1. Introduction

Education in the field of Medical Physics has experienced considerable growth and change from the time when the first publication of this report in 1993. Medical physics is one of the fastest emergent areas of research for academicians and physicists. It plays a vital role in the medical research areas of cancer, heart disease, and mental illness by involving in the development of new instrumentation and technology for use in diagnostic radiology. It is also concerned with the applications of digital computers in medicine and applications of information theory to diagnostic problems; processing, storing, and retrieving medical images; measuring the amount of radioactivity in the human body and studying the anatomical and temporal distribution of radioactive substances in the body.

Scientometrics is a discipline which analyses scientific publications to explore the structure and growth of science. They develop benchmarks to evaluate the quality of information resources and packages of information for decision making in medical physics. It provides a key opportunity to the researcher to publish their articles with new strategies, innovations, new methods and new ideas Scientometric analysis is the quantitative study of a subject growth by using bibliometric indicators and statistical tools and techniques. It light a research on the pattern of growth of individual to the respective subject literature, inter-relationship among different branches of knowledge, productivity, authorship pattern, degree of collaboration, pattern of collection building, and their use. Gradually the Scientometric studies are attaining the status of inter-disciplinary in nature. The Scientometric techniques are used to understand the magnitude of the growth of a particular discipline. Especially the trends and pattern in growth, contribution of a particular author or institutions and the collaboration pattern, relative growth rate and so on. They empirically describe the constantly changing relationships in medical physics. This consequently sheds more light on our knowledge of the structure of subject of literature and better organization of information resources which can ultimately be effectively used. Therefore, the present study has been undertaken in order to know the growth and development of publications in the field of medical physics research as indexed in web of science database.

2. Objectives for the Study

The objective of the study was to perform a scientometric analyze the global research output in medical physics during 2000-2013, with a following aspect of the study:

* Forms of Publications

* Annual Growth Rate, Relative Growth Rate and Doubling Time of publications

* Authorship Pattern of Publications

* Relative citation impact of highly productive countries

* Highly productive institutes

* Highly preferred source titles for publication

* Language-wise distribution of cosmic rays research output

3. Methodology

The Web of Science database was used for retrieving data on medical physics during 2000-2013, using search terms namely 'medical physics' in 'topic filed'. A total of 11181 publications were downloaded, the data were transferred to spread sheet application and analyzed the data as per objectives of the study.

4. Data analysis and interpretations

4.1 Forms of publications

The table 1 reveals that the major source of publications covered by web of science databases on medical physics research is Conference papers with 6,161 publications (55.10%) followed by Journal articles with 3,275 publications (29.29%). Review ranks the third position with 835 publications (7.47%) followed by editorial with 321 publications (2.87%), note with 179 publications (1.60%), short survey with 142 publications (1.27%) and remaining forms are less than one percentage as seen in the table. The results indicate that the research outputs on the subject of the period covered by the study are mostly published in the form of conference papers. …

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