While the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) and the Seth G D Medical College and KEM Hospital are the only two from the city among top 10 medical institutes which have made significant contributions to neuroscience research from India,Mumbai along with Delhi leads the city list with maximum publications,reveals a new study which reviewed neuroscience research in India from 1992 to 2005.
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Neurological disorders are one of the greatest threats to public health and constituted 6.3 per cent of the total disease burden in 2005. Globally,spending on mental health is less than $2 per person per year and less than 25 cents in low-income countries. A substantial gap exists between the disease burden due to neurological disorders and the resources available to prevent and treat them, says the paper titled Mapping neuroscience research in India a bibliometric approach,published in Current Science.
The study says that Maharashtra,Delhi,Uttar Pradesh,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh,West Bengal and Chandigarh accounted for over 1,000 papers in the 14 years. In all,18,138 papers,with 1.31 times citations,have been published in 1,975 journals from 47 different countries. The study,however,reveals that over 70 per cent of the papers have not been cited at all. Most Indian papers have appeared in low impact journals. About 61 per cent of the papers have appeared in journals with an impact factor below three. As many as 14 of the top 18 productive journals are from India,of which only six have impact factor. Further,only four out of the 25 highly cited journals are Indian, the paper concludes.
Dr Rakesh Jalali,professor and senior consultant of neuro-oncology at TMH,said the quality of research in general needs to be improved upon in the country. If papers are not being cited and acknowledged,then it is a cause of concern. There is no lack of effort in India. But the clinical load here is a lot and there are very few people who exclusively do research. There are also financial and regulatory constraints in India. Things have,however,improved in the last seven-eight years. For instance,in the area of oncology itself at TMH there has been a significant improvement in the number and quality of publications in the last few years,including those in high impact journals, he said.
The study says authors from 1,401 institutions have contributed at least one paper in 14 years under study and 10 institutions have contributed over 300 papers. These include All India Institute of Medical Sciences,Delhi (1,837),Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh (1,001),National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences,Bangalore (984),Seth G S Medical College and KEM Hospital,Mumbai (668) and Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences,Lucknow (665),among others. TMH has published 312 papers. Around 70.76 per cent institutions have contributed one,two or three papers,most of which have received no citations.
Authors from 275 cities have contributed to neuroscience research in India. 15 cities/towns have contributed over 150 papers; New Delhi and Mumbai lead the list with 3,990 and 2,101 papers respectively. Other productive cities are Bangalore (1,821 papers),Lucknow (1,426 papers),Chandigarh (1,372 papers) and Kolkata (1,111 papers), it says.
While 52 cities/towns have published 30 or more papers during the study period,87 cities/towns have published only one paper and 36 cities/ towns have accounted for two papers each.