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Bibliometric Analyisis of Blood Donor Studies in Saudi Arabia: Determining the Research Gaps

Farjah Algahtan

Background and Objectives: Research pertaining to blood donors is ongoing in contributing to evidence-based practice to improve patient safety. This article evaluates publication trends in blood donor studies in Saudi Arabia benchmarked against the United Kingdom (UK), a global leader in transfusion practice and research, to identify research priorities for Saudi transfusion services.
Materials and Methods: An online retrospective analysis of publications relating to blood donor studies in Saudi Arabia and the UK, indexed by the Science Citation Index expanded database of Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Analysis was performed to compare the quality of research outputs, determine differences in research themes and identify research gaps.
Results: Comparative analysis of research outputs between the two countries highlighted variations in research interests and scientific impact. The UK produced more blood donor studies focusing on donor screening for emerging infectious diseases. Articles were mostly published in transfusion specific journals, resulting in greater visibility and more citations. Comparatively, Saudi blood donor studies tended to focus on donor screening for World Health Organization (WHO) recognized infectious agents, and were mainly published in local Saudi journals.
Conclusion: The greater ability of the UK to identify emerging threats to the blood supply is likely a result of the centralization of their transfusion services which has enabled enhanced epidemiological surveillance and collation of donor information and statistics. We advocate for establishing a centralized Saudi blood transfusion service to enable country-wide blood donor surveillance, trend analysis and to improve the services and research outputs of Saudi Arabia.