Objectives: To assess HIV/AIDS research productivity in the 27 countries of the European Union (EU), and the structural level factors associated with levels of HIV/AIDS research productivity. Methods: A bibliometric analysis was conducted with systematic search methods used to locate HIV/AIDS research publications (period of 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2011; search databases: MEDLINE (Ovid, PubMed), EMBASE, ISI-Thomson Web of Science; no language restrictions). The publication rate (number of HIV/AIDS research publications per million population in 10 years) and the rate of articles published in HIV/AIDS journals and selected journals with moderate to very high (IF ≥3) 5-year impact factors were used as markers for HIV research productivity. A negative binomial regression model was fitted to assess the impact of structural level factors (sociodemographic, health, HIV prevalence and research/development indicators) associated with the variation in HIV research productivity. Results: The total numbers of HIV/AIDS research publications in 2002.2011 by country ranged from 7 to 9128 (median 319). The median publication rate (per million population in 10 years) was 45 (range 5.150) for all publications. Across all countries, 16% of the HIV/AIDS research was published in HIV/AIDS journals and 7% in selected journals with IF ≥3. Indicators describing economic (gross domestic product), demographic (size of the population) and epidemiological (HIV prevalence) conditions as well as overall scientific activity (total research output) in a country were positively associated with HIV research productivity. Conclusions: HIV research productivity varies noticeably across EU countries, and this variation is associated with recognisable structural factors.
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