Nursing and midwifery research activity is an important indicator of the quality of healthcare services and the status of nursing profession. The main aim of this study was to assess the research activity in nursing and midwifery field in Arab countries.
The current study implemented bibliometric method using Scopus database. The search strategy used country affiliation or journal name or keywords as a strategy to retrieve the required documents. The study period was from 1950 to2017. Analysis included a presentation of bibliometric indicators and VOSviewer mapping of the retrieved data.
2935 documents were retrieved making up less than 1% of global nursing and midwifery research output. Of the retrieved documents, 25% were published in high rank (first quartile = Q1) journals. The majority (56.7%) of the retrieved documents were published in the last five years of the study period. The retrieved documents received an average of 6.9 citations per document with an h-index of 47. The total number of authors who took part in publishing the retrieved documents was 10,572, giving an average of 3.6 authors per article. Jordan ranked first in research output. Researchers from Jordan took part in over than one third (1023; 34.9%) of the retrieved documents. Lebanon (35.5%) ranked first in the percentage of documents published in Q1 journals. The United Arab Emirates ranked first in the percentage (67.4%) of publications with international authors. The most active journal involved in publishing nursing research from Arab countries was Life Science Journal (158; 5.4%). The University of Jordan was the most productive institution while the American University of Beirut ranked first in the percentage (36.9%) of documents published in Q1 journals. Author keyword analysis and10 most cited articles showed that non-communicable diseases and nursing education were the focus of nursing research in Arab countries.
Nursing and midwifery research activity in Arab countries has dramatically increased especially over the past five years. Despite this, nursing research is still in its infancy, lagging in quantity and quality compared to developed countries.