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Evolution of Communities in the Medical Sciences: Evidence from the Medical Words Network

Shirazi, AH; Badie Modiri, A; Heydari, S; Rohn, JL; Jafari, GR; Mani, AR; (2016) Evolution of Communities in the Medical Sciences: Evidence from the Medical Words Network. PloS ONE , 11 (12) , Article e0167546. 10.1371/journal.pone.0167546. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Classification of medical sciences into its sub-branches is crucial for optimum administration of healthcare and specialty training. Due to the rapid and continuous evolution of medical sciences, development of unbiased tools for monitoring the evolution of medical disciplines is required. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Network analysis was used to explore how the medical sciences have evolved between 1980 and 2015 based on the shared words contained in more than 9 million PubMed abstracts. The k-clique percolation method was used to extract local research communities within the network. Analysis of the shared vocabulary in research papers reflects the trends of collaboration and splintering among different disciplines in medicine. Our model identifies distinct communities within each discipline that preferentially collaborate with other communities within other domains of specialty, and overturns some common perceptions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our analysis provides a tool to assess growth, merging, splitting and contraction of research communities and can thereby serve as a guide to inform policymakers about funding and training in healthcare.

Type: Article
Title: Evolution of Communities in the Medical Sciences: Evidence from the Medical Words Network
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167546
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167546
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Shirazi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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 Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Department of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Renal Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1531038
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