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United States Holds Global Lead in Breast Cancer Research Publications as China Surges to Forefront, According to Report

AMSTERDAM, October 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

-- "Working Toward a Cure: Examining the State of Global Breast Cancer Research" Reveals Key Trends in Breast Cancer Research Article Output --

The United States, China and Switzerland lead the international scientific community in the publication of breast cancer research articles, according to the Elsevier research outlook report, Working Toward a Cure: Examining the State of Global Breast Cancer Research. By analyzing major trends in article output at the international, national and institutional levels, the research landscape outlook report highlights the dynamic nature of breast cancer research across the global research landscape. A detailed analysis of research productivity in the field was performed using Scopus data and SciVal® Spotlight, a web-based research performance and planning tool. Amongst the observations, China's output of articles pertaining to breast cancer research nearly doubled from 2006 to 2010.

"With an increasing focus on breast cancer research in China and other parts of Asia, implementation of meaningful clinical practices directed at breast cancer risk assessment, prevention, detection and diagnosis, and treatment, may keep this particular form of cancer under control," said W.B.Coleman, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The United States: Remains Leader in Breast Cancer Research Article Output

Despite static growth in breast cancer research output from 2006 to 2010, the United States continues as the most prolific producer of breast cancer research, publishing more than 900 articles in 2010.  Based on an analysis using Scopus data, Elsevier determined that the United States also remains a global leader in the number of article citations in other research papers, a statistic that indicates the level of importance of a country's overall research reports.  Of the ten institutions leading breast cancer research output, seven are located in the United States, including the top four.

  • A Changing of the Guard in Asia: An Upsurge in China but Downturn in Japan

While the United States produces the greatest volume and yields the widest variety of breast cancer research, China is rapidly emerging as a key player in the field. From 2006 to 2010, global breast cancer research was driven by an upsurge in research conducted by Chinese institutions - China's output of articles pertaining to breast cancer research nearly doubled during that time. This tremendous growth reflects China's economic expansion and the fear that China is on the cusp of a breast cancer epidemic. Meanwhile, in the same time period, breast cancer research article output in Japan fell almost 11%, mirroring the country's overall decrease in scientific research.

  • Switzerland:  A Bright Spot in European Research Output

Annual growth of breast cancer research article output in Germany and the United Kingdom only increased slightly - 6% and 2% per year, respectively, similar to many other European countries. Article output in European breast cancer research tended to mirror the falling budgets for overall scientific research despite continuing increases in the incidence of breast cancer.  However, breast cancer research has been increasing at exceptional rates in Switzerland; from 2006 to 2010, breast cancer research grew by almost 103%.  This explosive growth rate can be attributed to a robust Swiss investment in research and development, one which persists as the Swiss economy continues to flourish.

The full report is available for download ( report was developed as part of an occasional series on research landscape outlook. To view prior reports or for more information on SciVal, please visit


The analysis was split into two phases: phase I looked at the breast cancer research literature landscape and phase II, which took a look at a number of well-performing nations and one of their institutions that is a highly productive contributor to the subject field.

Phase I - To construct the initial data pool, the keywords "breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma, infiltrating ductal carcinoma, infiltrating lobular carcinoma, DCIS,ductal carcinoma, LCIS, lobular carcinoma, her2neu, her2/neu, ErbB-2, CD340, BRCA, triple negative carcinoma and basaloid cancer" were used to search titles, abstracts, and keywords of original articles, reviews, and proceedings papers published in the SciVerse Scopus™ database  ( from Elsevier between January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2010. The resulting pool of research papers related to breast cancer was then analyzed. The data pool was used to generate list of subject categories, institutions, and nations analyzed in three ways: according to total number of papers, total cites, and total cites/paper.

Phase II - SciVal® Spotlight ( was used to gain deeper insights into the core strengths of these nations and the institutions that are contributing to these national strengths. For a detailed description regarding how this analysis was conducted, please refer to the full report.

About the Elsevier SciVal® Suite

Elsevier's SciVal suite ( of services supports academic and government leadership in evaluating, establishing and executing research strategies that optimize the performance of existing assets and maximize investments to enhance near and long-term productivity. SciVal tools leverage Scopus® data, Elsevier's trusted source of bibliometric data, to offer innovative yet authoritative solutions. Current suite offerings include: SciVal Spotlight™, a strategic tool that generates unique institutional and country maps of existing and emerging strengths based on an interdisciplinary perspective of current performance; SciVal Funding™, an online solution that provides targeted recommendations on grants to pursue based on pre-populated research profiles and historical awards; SciVal Experts, a semantic technology-based application that enables researchers to identify and locate sources of expertise at an individual or departmental level within and across institutions.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet ( and Cell (, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect (, SciVerse Scopus (, Reaxys (, MD Consult ( and Nursing Consult (, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite ( and MEDai's Pinpoint Review (, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier ( employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Name: Will DeGirolamo
Phone: +1-212-752-8338

SOURCE Elsevier
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