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Ethnopharmacology—A Bibliometric Analysis of a Field of Research Meandering Between Medicine and Food Science?

Yeung, AWK; Heinrich, M; Atanasov, AG; (2018) Ethnopharmacology—A Bibliometric Analysis of a Field of Research Meandering Between Medicine and Food Science? Frontiers in Pharmacology , 9 , Article 215. 10.3389/fphar.2018.00215. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The research into bioactive natural products of medicinal plants has a long tradition, but ethnopharmacology as a well-defined field of research has a relatively short history, only dating back 50 years. AIMS: With the fast development of this field and its global importance especially in the fast developing economies of Asia it is timely to assess the most influential articles (as measured by citations) and to identify important drivers and research trends in this field. METHODS: Scopus was searched to identify relevant articles which were assessed by all three authors. The 100 most cited articles were identified and analyzed. Bibliometric software (VOSviewer) was utilized to supplement the analysis and to generate a term map that visualized the citation patterns of the 100 articles containing different terms. RESULTS: Forty-four of the 100 articles are reviews. On average, each of the 100 articles had 632 citations and since publication was cited 43 times annually. The four core journals were Journal of Ethnopharmacology (n = 17), Food Chemistry (n = 7), Life Sciences (n = 5), and Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (n = 4). Anti-oxidant effects appeared to be a recurring and highly cited topic, whereas the links into drug discovery and neuropharmacology seemed to be less strong. Numerous medicinal plants and functional foods were the foci of research, and the foci shifted when comparing pre-2000 and post-2000 publications (with the later involving a broader spectrum of plants and foods and a wider range of biological effects). Contributions largely came from Asia, and also from the Americas, Africa, and Oceania, besides Europe. CONCLUSIONS: We have identified and analyzed the 100 most-cited articles in ethnopharmacology. Within 50 years the field has gained a profile and while conventionally often linked to “traditional knowledge,” drug discovery and some areas of pharmacology, this analysis highlights its emerging importance in the context of disease prevention (food science), but also the development of research driven by the needs and interests of the fast developing economies most notably of Asia.

Type: Article
Title: Ethnopharmacology—A Bibliometric Analysis of a Field of Research Meandering Between Medicine and Food Science?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00215
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00215
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Yeung, Heinrich and Atanasov. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Bibliometrics, ethnopharmacology, ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, medicinal plant, folk medicine, traditional medicine
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharma and Bio Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045953
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