Indian Journal of Dental Research

ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year
: 2012  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 293--294

30 Years of dental research in Australia and India: A comparative analysis of published peer review literature


Charu Madan1, Estie Kruger2, Marc Tennant2,  
1 Department of Periodontics, ESIC Dental College and Hospital, Delhi, India
2 Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Charu Madan
Department of Periodontics, ESIC Dental College and Hospital, Delhi
India

Abstract

Background: A sustained program of research is an integral part of human-kind«SQ»s efforts to improve oral health. In addition, dental research is a vital part of the development of a strong and prosperous dental education system and has been one of the three pillars of the higher education sector (Research, Education and Service) for a very long time. Aim: This study aims to examine the last 30 years of peer review published dental literature in both, Australia and India, and to define the trends in publication over that time. Materials and Methods: This study used the Pubmed database using a set of core dental words for the years 1980 to 2009. Detailed analysis of the year-by-year rates of publication was done using Microsoft Excel. Results: India is on a near exponential upward growth while Australia through the latter half of the last decade has been more stable in output. State-wise breakdown in both countries shows that the proportions are more consistent for Australia, but for India, a major number of publications can be traced to three states. Conclusion: It is expected that dental research in Australia will grow in the coming decade as the new dental schools embed their educational programs and mature to develop strong research profiles. However, India is becoming a significant force in the published peer review dental research literature, and is growing at a very rapid rate.



How to cite this article:
Madan C, Kruger E, Tennant M. 30 Years of dental research in Australia and India: A comparative analysis of published peer review literature.Indian J Dent Res 2012;23:293-294


How to cite this URL:
Madan C, Kruger E, Tennant M. 30 Years of dental research in Australia and India: A comparative analysis of published peer review literature. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Sep 19 ];23:293-294
Available from: https://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2012/23/2/293/100447


Full Text

 Introduction



A sustained program of research is an integral part of human-kinds efforts to improve oral health. In addition, dental research is a vital part of the development of a strong and prosperous dental education system and has been one of the three pillars of the higher education sector (Research, Education and Service) for a very long time. Countries, face significant challenges from time-to-time in sustaining research drivers as resources are moved around to meet the community needs. [1],[2] An ongoing monitoring of the success of countries' international research effort is important to inform policy makers who are responsible for sustaining the research through funding and policy initiatives.

India, as one of the fastest growing economies and most rapidly developing higher education sectors in the world, has seen a massive swing towards research and development over the last 3 decades as it expands its economic development; which has been identified as a key factor in increasing research outputs. [3] The total number of dental schools (colleges) in India has increased dramatically over the last decade. It is estimated that Indian dental schools now graduate in the order of 10,000 new dentists every year; equivalent to the total dentist workforce of Australia. Its total faculty workforce exceeds 10,000 dental academics with a focus on education and research. [4],[5]

During the same period, Australia has had a number of efforts to grow its research activities to strengthen its future economic growth. Both countries have had growing higher education sectors and in particular, growth in its dental academic focus; Australia albeit off a very small base. This expansion is still early in its development, and stabilization of these significant investments requires time to bear the fruit of an increased research and development output. In dentistry, Australia has also nearly doubled the number of dental schools, although these are still in the early period of their development.

The aim of this study was to develop a baseline dataset, comparing the last 30 years of peer review published dental literature in Australia and India. These data will also provide a strong basis for predicting the future development of dental research in Australia as its new dental schools start to become research active.

 Materials and Methods



This study used the Pubmed (Library of Congress) database that indexes the largest range of peer review journals in the world. All publications that included any words from a core set of dental words (dentistry, oral, teeth and periodontium), were extracted from Pubmed for the years 1980 to 2009 inclusive. Each extracted reference (title, base details and abstract) was reviewed by the authors to eliminate anomalies, brought about from the breadth of the search word drivers. Data specific for Australia and India were extracted and cleansed using the same method. All references from the finalized (cleansed) set were included in the study frameset and were individually entered in Excel (Microsoft Office Excel 2003) for the analysis.

 Results



A total of 3579 references were found to be of Australian origin, and 1944 of Indian origin over the period of 30 years, using inclusion criteria as outlined in the methods.

Time trends

It was noted that there was a significant increase in the number of publications per decade for both countries [Figure 1]. However, comparisons between each country in terms of growth provided some interesting results. In the earliest decade, India produced 31 publications while Australia produced about 10 times of this (N=314). By the last decade, Australia was producing 2117 while India produced some 1536 publications. It is noted that over a similar period, there has been a significant increase in the number of dental colleges in India [Table 1]. Detailed analysis of the year-by-year breakdown of publications and the addition of 5th power polynomial trend lines finds India on an exponential upward growth of publications while Australia through the latter half of the last decade becoming more stable output curve [Figure 2].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Table 1}

Location within country

Prior to 1990, there was only a poor recording of locality within the database, therefore, for this section of the analysis, only the last 20 years are included. An analysis of the State-by-State breakdown of publications over the last two decades finds a relatively stable proportion per State in Australia. New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria at around 20% of all publications per year while Queensland is about 15%; and Western Australia about 7.5% [Figure 3]. In India, about 30-40% comes from Karnataka with about 20% from Tamil Nadu, and 10% from Delhi [Figure 4].{Figure 3}{Figure 4}

Author numbers

Over the last 30 years, there has been a rapid transition in Australia from single Author publications to multi-author publications. Single author publications have fallen from about 70% to 20% while 2 author publications have grown from 20% to 50%; and 3 or more authors have grown from 0% to about 25% of all publications in Australia [Figure 5]. Whereas, the data from India finds the proportion of single author publications remains (certainly for the last 2 decades) relatively stable at about 10%. With high level multi-author publications (4 or more authors) making up a far higher proportion of publication (about 35%) since much earlier than in Australia [Figure 6].{Figure 5}{Figure 6}

 Discussion



Research and development is a vital part of any society. Countries with rapidly developing or developed economies on the whole have a strong research and development culture. [6],[7] The last 30 years has seen the rapid growth in India, and this has been translated into a very rapid expansion of its tertiary education sector and coupled research. The data from this study points to the near exponential growth in dental research in India, where in the last 3 years, it has overtaken Australia. This is consistent with an increasing number of dental colleges in India. The last decade has seen, research output in Australia showing some early growth, but stagnating over the last few years. The rapid expansion of India in comparison, bids well for its future development. This compares with an analysis in the late 1990's, which ranked Australia at 11th and India at 26th in the world in terms of the number of publications. [8] Of future interest will be the level of impact this very significant increase in world dental research has on outcomes for patients. Further research is needed in this area.

Indian dental research appears to be predominated by 2 or 3 states while in Australia, there is a more distributed activity. [7],[9],[10] Dental research in Australia has for many years been undertaken by small groups of people (and individuals). It is only in the last decade, there has been an expansion in the number of multi-author publications. In contrast, almost an inverse is true for India: in the last two decades, it has had a strong multi-author collaborative publication output that is now seen as important to research development.

This study has focussed on the quantitative comparison of the research publications in the two countries. An evolved approach in future would be to carry out a qualitative appraisal for the same; analyzing the quality of the publication in two countries, by comparing the journal impact factor in addition to the quantitative comparison. This analysis may constitute the second phase of the current study.

In summary, Australian dental research appears to have plateaued in recent times whilst rapid near exponential growth is occurring in India. The plateau in Australia is difficult to explain, but factors such as high teaching commitments, reduced levels of overall research funding and focus may play a role. However, like India, it is expected that dental research in Australia will grow in the coming decade as the new dental schools embed their educational programs and mature into developing a strong research profile. Notwithstanding this, it is clear that India is becoming a significant force in the published peer review dental research literature, and is growing at a rate that eclipsed Australia during the middle of the last decade and continues its exponential growth curve.

References

1Rahman M, Fukui T. Biomedical research productivity: Factors across the countries. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 2003 Winter;19:249-52.
2Tennant M, McGeachie JK. Dental school structures in Australia: heading to the 21st century. Aust Dent J 1999;44:238-42.
3Rahman M, Fukui T. Factors related to biomedical research productivity in Asian countries. J Epidemiol 2001;11:199-202.
4Arya K, Auluck A, Gupta P, Feine J, Allison PJ. Challenges and opportunities for dental research in India IADR Conference Toronto 2008 ID=2459.
5Saraswathi TR. Research facilities in dental institutions of India: Need of the hour. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2007;11:47-9.
6Rahman M, Fukui T. Biomedical publications - global profile and trend. Pub Health 2003;117:274-80.
7Brown T. Recollections and reflection on dental research in Australia. J Dent Res 1994:73;1490-1.
8Gil-Montoya JA, Navarrete-Cortes J, Pulgar R, Santa S, Moya-Anegón F. World dental research production: An ISI database approach (1999-2003). Eur J Oral Sci 2006;114:102-8.
9Kaur H, Gupta BM. Mapping of dental science research in India: A scientometric analysis of India's research output 1999-2008. Scientometrics (EJournal) 21st March 2010.
10Research in India - Manipal college of dental science. Media Release May 6th 2010 available from: http://www.123oye.in/research-in-india-manipal-college-of-dental-science/2010/05/06 downloaded [Last cited on 2010 July 22].