Web 2.0 Applications In Medicine : Trends And Topics In The Literature

Christophe Boudry* Christophe Boudry*, Urfist Paris / Ecole nationale des chartes, Paris, France

Track: Research
Presentation Topic: Web 2.0 approaches for clinical practice, clinical research, quality monitoring
Presentation Type: Poster presentation
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Last modified: 2014-05-23

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Over the past two decades, the world wide web has changed researchers' habits. These changes were further extended when “web 2.0” appeared in 2005, bringing tools and platforms facilitating user collaboration, user-generated content and data sharing. These tools have gradually influenced the world of research, especially in medicine. Bibliometrics is a helpful and widely used tool for describing patterns of publication and interpreting temporal evolutions and the geographical distribution of research in a given field. Few studies employing bibliometrics, however, have been carried out on the correlative nature of scientific literature and web 2.0.
The aim of this bibliometric analysis was to provide an overview of web 2.0 implications in the field of Medicine. The objectives were to assess growth rate of literature, key journals, authors and country contributions, and to evaluate whether the various web 2.0 applications are expressed within this biomedical literature, and, if so, how.
A specific query with keywords chosen to be representative of web 2.0 applications has been built for PubMed database. Articles dealing with web 2.0 were downloaded in XML and were processed through developed PHP scripts, then were imported to Microsoft Excel 2010 (Microsoft) for data processing.
1347 articles were included in this study. The number of articles dealing with web 2.0 has been increasing from 2002 to 2013 (average annual growth rate was 106.30 % with a maximum of 333 % in 2005). The USA was, by far, the predominant country for authors, with 514 articles (53.99 %). The second and third most productive countries were the UK and Australia, with respectively 87 (9.14 %) and 44 articles (4.62 %). Distribution of number of articles per author showed that the core population of researchers working on web 2.0 in the medical field can be estimated to approximately 75. 614 journals were identified during this analysis. Using Bradford's law, 27 core journals were identified, among which 3 (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Journal of Medical Internet Research and Nucleic Acids Research) produced more than 35 articles related to web 2.0 over the period studied. 274 words in the field of web 2.0 were found after manual sorting of the 15878 words belonging to title and abstract fields of articles. Word frequency analysis reveals “blog” as the most recurrent, followed by “wiki”, “web 2.0”, ”social media”, “Facebook”, “social networks”, “blogger”, “cloud computing”, “Twitter” and “blogging”. All categories of web 2.0 applications were found, indicating the successful integration of web 2.0 into the biomedical field. Remarkably, apart from wikis, applications specifically developed for science, biology or medicine were rare (e.g. PatientLikeMe,) or not represented (e.g. researchblogging.org for blogs, Researchgate and Academia for social networks).
This study shows that the biomedical community is engaged in the use of web 2.0 and confirms its high level of interest for these tools. Therefore, changes in the ways researchers use information, generated by the arrival of the world wide web and web 2.0, seem far from over.

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