Objective: There is a disparity between burden of disease and research efforts. This is especially true in tropical medicine, particularly concerning neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This paper reports on a bibliometric study of NTD research from the past five years, examining disparities between research on individual NTDs and between income groups. To aid in NTD research priority setting and to inform future NTD policy making, it is important to know how much research is being produced, the topics of research, and who is producing the research.
Methods: To assess current research trends and disparities in research, this study used Scopus SciVal, a bibliometric analysis tool powered by Elsevier, and Web of Science’s bibliometric analysis tool, examining the scholarly output for the overall body of NTD research.
Results and Discussion: The data show that high mortality NTDs are the most researched, though incidence rates are lower than other NTDs, and high morbidity NTDs are still somewhat under researched. The data show that the NTDs with the highest degrees of international collaboration are decreasing in prevalence and burden. The data also show that high income countries produce the most research on NTDs, followed by upper-middle income countries. Low-income countries produce the body of work with the most international collaboration, followed by high income countries, indicating that these two income groups collaborate most frequently. Upper-middle income countries produce the research with the lowest international collaboration.
Conclusion: The main finding of this study is something quite intuitive and something the WHO and NGOs already know: international collaboration is the best way to combat NTD burden across the globe.