Introduction Bibliometric tools can be used to identify the authors, topics and research institutions that have made the greatest impact in a field of medicine. The aim of this research was to analyse military trauma publications over the last 16 years of armed conflict in order to highlight the most important lessons that have translated into civilian practice and military doctrine as well as identify emerging areas of importance.
Methods A systematic search of research published between January 2000 and December 2016 was conducted using the Thompson Reuters Web of Science database. Both primary evidence and review publications were included. Results were categorised according to relevance and topic and the 30 most cited publications were reviewed in full. The h-index, impact factors, citation counts and citation analysis were used to evaluate results.
Results A plateau in the number of annual publications on military trauma was found, as was a shift away from publications on wound and mortality epidemiology to publications on traumatic brain injury (TBI), neurosurgery or blast injury to the head. Extensive collaboration networks exist between highly contributing authors and institutions, but less collaboration between authors from different countries. The USA produced the majority of recent publications, followed by the UK, Germany and Israel.
Conclusions In recent years, the number of publications on TBI, neurosurgery or blast injury to the head has increased. It is likely that the lessons of recent conflicts will continue to influence civilian medical practice, particularly regarding the long-term effects of blast-related TBI.
- statistics & research methods
- trauma management
- neurological injury
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Contributors All authors were necessary to completion of this paper. MLV conducted the initial systematic review, co-ordinated all other authors and performed the majority of drafting throughout. CPC conducted all statistical analysis on ’R' and generated the circular graphs and line graph. GJM guided discussion and contributed on multiple drafts of the paper. LE generated the initial search strategy using Web of Science and collated all results with Endnote. AM generated the global map using ARCGIS and bibliometric data. MCR was responsible for devising the initial concept, preliminary analysis and guiding the overall direction of the research paper. MCR also contributed to multiple drafts.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Data kept on the personal computers of the primary researchers.