The Arab world’s contribution to solid waste literature: a bibliometric analysis

Sa'ed H Zyoud , Samah W Al-Jabi, Waleed M Sweileh, Suleiman Al-Khalil, Shaher H Zyoud, Ansam F Sawalha, Rahmat Awang


Environmental and health-related effects of solid waste material are considered worldwide problems. The aim of this study was to assess the volume and impact of Arab scientific output published in journals indexed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) on solid waste.


We included all the documents within the SCI whose topic was solid waste from all previous years up to 31 December 2012. In this bibliometric analysis we sought to evaluate research that originated from Arab countries in the field of solid waste, as well as its relative growth rate, collaborative measures, productivity at the institutional level, and the most prolific journals.


A total of 382 (2.35 % of the overall global research output in the field of solid waste) documents were retrieved from the Arab countries. The annual number of documents published in the past three decades (1982–2012) indicated that research productivity demonstrated a noticeable rise during the last decade. The highest number of articles associated with solid waste was that of Egypt (22.8 %), followed by Tunisia (19.6), and Jordan (13.4 %). the total number of citations over the analysed years at the date of data collection was 4,097, with an average of 10.7 citations per document. The h-index of the citing articles was 31. Environmental science was the most researched topic, represented by 175 (45.8 %) articles. Waste Management was the top active journal. The study recognized 139 (36.4 %) documents from collaborations with 25 non-Arab countries. Arab authors mainly collaborated with countries in Europe (22.5 %), especially France, followed by countries in the Americas (9.4 %), especially the USA. The most productive institution was the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, with 6.3 % of total publications.


Despite the expected increase in solid waste production from Arab world, research activity about solid waste is still low. Governments must invest more in solid waste research to avoid future unexpected problems. Finally, since solid waste is a multidisciplinary science, research teams in engineering, health, toxicology, environment, geology and others must be formulated to produce research in solid waste from different scientific aspects.


Solid waste; Bibliometric; SCI; Arab world


Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 10 (1), 35
BIoMed Central
Publisher Country
United Kingdom
Thomson Reuters
Impact Factor
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)