Bibliometric Studies in CIMEL: A Latin-American Medical Student Journal and the Future of Bibliometric Publications


  • Francisco J. Bonilla-Escobar Associate Researcher.Cisalva Institute, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia.
  • Johanna C. Rojas-Mírquez The Center for pain and the Brain. Boston, MA, USA.
  • Alvaro Mondragón-Cardona San José Belalcazar Hospital, Caldas, Colombia. Research Group of Infection and Immunity. Technological University of Pereira. Pereira, Colombia.
  • Juliana Bonilla-Velez Resident Physician, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.



Bibliometrics, Medical Students, Latin America


Background: Bibliometric or scientometric studies are methodological fields focused on the structural analysis of the information contai­ned in scientific publication and generate indicators that help identify challenges and achievements in research. We aimed to characterize the publications that used this method authored by medical students in Latin America.

Methods: We reviewed articles that performed a bibliometric analysis and were published in a Latin American medical student journal, between 2001 and 2012. We analyzed the characte­ristics of the articles, authors and references. Linear simple regression and Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) were developed to identify trends and correlations with 95% confidence.

Results: There were 12 volumes of the journal available online, with a total of 236 articles. Of these, 13 (5.5%) were bibliometric studies: five original articles, four letters to the editor, two editorials, one short communication, and one review. There was a positive significant relationship between time (years) and number of publications (ß1=0.16, p=0.03, PCC=63%), and citations of each article (not significant, ß1=1.3, p=0.09, PCC=49%).

Conclusion: There was an increase in the number of bibliometric publications after 2008, possibly influenced by a popularization of these types of studies in Latin America. Findings should motivate new and collaborative studies in this field. Moreover, it will be necessary to clarify publication areas of interest of medical students around the world.

Author Biography

Francisco J. Bonilla-Escobar, Associate Researcher.Cisalva Institute, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia.

Francisco J Bonilla-Escobar is a re­cently graduated physician and associate researcher at Cisalva Institute at the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia, South America, and he is Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Medical Students.


1. Johnson MH, Cohen J, Grudzinskas G. The uses and abuses of bibliometrics. Reprod Biomed Online. 2012;24(5):485-6.
2. Sheikh L, Johnston S, Thangaratinam S, Kilby MD, Khan KS. A review of the methodological features of systematic reviews in maternal medicine. BMC Med. 2007;5:10.
3. Licea de Arenas J, Santillán Rivero EG. [Bibliometrics, why?]. Bibl Univ Nue¬va época. 2002;5(1):3-10. Spanish
4. Hostetter MK. What we don’t see. N Engl J Med. 2012;366(14):1328-34.
5. Sifrim ZK, Barker PM, Mate KS. What gets published: the characteristics of quality improvement research articles from low- and middle-income coun-tries. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012;21(5):423-31.
6. Niño R, Marañon R, Rodriguez A. [FELSOCEM: Scientific Vision of a Past, Present and Future]. CIMEL. 2003;8(1):61-2. Spanish
7. Romaní F, Huamaní C, González-Alcaide G. [Bibliometric studies as research line in biomedical sciences: An approach for the undergraduate degree]. CIMEL. 2011;14(1):52-62. Spanish
8. Bonilla-Escobar FJ, Bonilla-Vélez J, López-Castillo CA. [Medical Student Re¬search: Perspective from Colombia]. CIMEL. 2010;15(2):94. Spanish
9. Mayta-Tristan P. [The evaluation and publication process of manuscripts in CIMEL]. CIMEL. 2003;8(1):4-5. Spanish
10. Lundberg J. Bibliometrics as a research assessment tool: impact beyond the impact factor. Stockholm, Sweden: Karolinska Institutet; 2006.
11. Stidham RW, Sauder K, Higgins PD. Using bibliometrics to advance your academic career. Gastroenterology. 2012;143(3):520-3.
12. Guelich JM, Singer BH, Castro MC, Rosenberg LE. A gender gap in the next generation of physician-scientists: medical student interest and participation in research. J Investig Med. 2002;50(6):412-8.
13. Mansour AM, Shields CL, Maalouf FC, Massoud VA, Jurdy L, Mathysen DG, et al. Five-decade profile of women in leadership positions at ophthalmic publications. Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(11):1441-6.
14. European Technology Assessment Network Expert Working Group on Wo¬men and Science. [Science Policies in the European Union: promoting exce-llence though mainstreaming gender equality]. Bruselas, Belgica: European Commision; 2000.
15. Jagsi R, Guancial EA, Worobey CC, Henault LE, Chang Y, Starr R, et al. The “gender gap” in authorship of academic medical literature--a 35-year pers-pective. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(3):281-7.
16. Fischer MR. Undergraduate Medical Education as a Foundation for Health Care and Research. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2012;109(18):325–6.
17. Boulton G. Open your minds and share your results. Nature. 2012;486(7404):441.
18. Nair V, Khan S, Jhaveri KD. Interactive journals and the future of medical publications. Am J Med. 2012;125(10):1038-42.



How to Cite

Bonilla-Escobar, F. J., Rojas-Mírquez, J. C., Mondragón-Cardona, A., & Bonilla-Velez, J. (2013). Bibliometric Studies in CIMEL: A Latin-American Medical Student Journal and the Future of Bibliometric Publications. International Journal of Medical Students, 1(3), 115–119.



Original Article

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>