Global geographic and gender disparities in stem cell-related surgical research: Bibliometric review of the top 200 most-cited articles

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Objectives: The study aimed to identify geographic and gender disparities in the quality, academic impact, and media attention of the top-cited articles related to stem cell-related surgical research.
Methods: The following data was extracted for the top 200 most-cited articles (2011-2021): article- (including citation metrics and country of publication), journal- (including impact factor), and author-level (including corresponding author gender) variables. Article Altmetric Attention Score (AAS), a measure of mass mainstream and social media attention, was also recorded.
Results: Most articles originated from high-income countries (HICs: 175 [87.5%]), with only 7 (3.5%) from lower-middle-income countries. Articles from non-HIC were published in journals with significantly lower impact factors (6.66 [3.75-9.46] vs. 23.2 [7.3-32.5]; p < 0.001) and AAS (7 [3-14.5] vs. 30 [11-83]; p < 0.001). Only 44 (22%) of articles were authored by a female corresponding author, with these having significantly fewer citations than those authored by a male (289 [250-400] vs. 331.5 [267.25-451.25]; p=0.031).
Conclusions: Even amongst the top-cited literature, our results demonstrate worrying disparities in the geographic origins of stem cell-related surgical research. The vast majority originates from HICs, with these articles being published in better journals and receiving greater media attention. We also identified significant gender disparities, with female representation being concerningly low and female-authored articles receiving significantly fewer citations.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association