Oncological research overview in the European Union. A 5-year survey

D. Ugolini, G. S. Mela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluates the distribution of papers published by European Union (EU) authors in oncological journals from 1996 to 2000, and compares the results with those of a previous study carried out in 1995. The impact of oncological research in the EU is compared with that of the United States (US) and the world, and research trends are highlighted through an analysis of keywords. Data on articles published in oncological journals (ISI Subject Category=ONCOLOGY) selected from Current Contents/Life Science and Current Contents/Clinical Medicine (1996-2000) on the weekly diskette version were downloaded. Mean Impact Factor (IF), source country population and gross domestic product (GDP) were analysed. A special-purpose software to determine the most commonly used keywords was utilised. From 1996 to 2000, 66 021 papers were published in the world in oncological journals: 35.5% came from the EU (UK, Italy, Germany, France and The Netherlands ranking the highest) and 38.8% from the US. The total number of EU papers increased from 4063 in 1995 to 4843 in 2000. Compared with the previous study, no important changes were seen, with the top five countries in 1995 maintaining their ranking in 2000. However, some small countries (Denmark, Norway and Ireland) fared worse in 2000, while others (France, Germany and Greece) improved their position. The mean IF for the EU papers was 2.9 compared with 4.0 in the US. The mean IF increased for all of the nations. In particular, while France and Germany showed a very positive performance trend in their respective IFs, countries such as Norway, Denmark and Italy showed less improvement. The analysis of keywords appearing in articles written in 2000 showed that the leading fields of research were breast cancer in the diseases category of keywords, cisplatin and platinum compounds in the drugs category, radiotherapy in the treatment category and apoptosis in the experimental studies category. Variety in the use of keywords should be avoided, and journal editors should encourage their standardisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1888-1894
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


  • Bibliometrics
  • Europe
  • Neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Oncological research overview in the European Union. A 5-year survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this