International Publication Trends of Retinopathy of Prematurity Literature Over 40 Years

Paras P. Vakharia, Natalie T. Huang, Michelle Jankowski, Benjamin J. Thomas, R. V.Paul Chan, Kimberly A. Drenser, Michael T. Trese, Antonio Capone, Yoshihiro Yonekawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to conduct a bibliometric analysis to evaluate the publication trends of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) literature over time, focusing on geographic and economic origins. Methods: A search for indexed English abstracts was performed in PubMed using search terms “retinopathy of prematurity” or “retrolental fibroplasia” from 1976 to 2015 and divided into 4 decades. Original research articles involving humans were included. Countries were grouped into high-, middle-, and low-income groups using World Bank criteria, and impact factors (IFs) were gathered from 2014 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports. Results: A total of 5425 publications were identified, of which 2045 met the inclusion criteria. The ratios of publications per decade increased over time: 1976 to 1985 (5.4%), 1986 to 1995 (15.8%), 1996 to 2005 (25%), 2006 to 2015 (53.7%; Pearson r =.93, 95% confidence interval: 0.87-0.96). The rates of publications by income group were high—(82.2%), middle—(17.7%), and low—(0.1%). Respective mean (standard deviation) IFs by income group were 2.79 (4.87), 1.23 (1.17), and 0.42 (0.45). Top producing countries were the United States (37%), the United Kingdom (6.7%), India (4.6%), Japan (3.9%), and Turkey (3.5%). There was a significant difference between the time distribution of publications between high- and middle-income groups, where the latter has produced increasing publications in recent years (P <.001), but in journals with lower IFs overall (P <.001). Conclusions: Publications regarding ROP are increasing in number. Investigators from middle-income countries are increasingly contributing to the ROP literature but, overall, may not be recognized yet in journals with high IFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-396
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of VitreoRetinal Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • global
  • international
  • ophthalmology
  • publication trends
  • retinopathy of prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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