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New report on stem cell research reveals the field is growing twice as fast as the world average.

6 December 2013

A new report 'Stem Cell Research: Trends and Perspectives on the Evolving International Landscape' presents a comprehensive analysis of the growth and development of the stem cell field, with particular focus on embryonic stem (ES) cell and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research outputs.

The report was jointly prepared by Elsevier https://www.elsevier.com/, Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) http://www.icems.kyoto-u.ac.jp/e/ and CRM / EuroStemCell, and was discussed today, 6 December 2013, at the World Stem Cell Summit http://www.worldstemcellsummit.com/ in San Diego.

The study reviewed the research output, citation impact and collaboration behaviour of leading nations, as well as assessing international differences in focus and growth, in order to provide a broad and transparent data driven view of the field. It combines a comprehensive publication analysis from Elsevier’s Scopus - the largest scientific abstract and citation database - together with scientists’ and other stakeholders’ views on current progress and future expectations of the field.

Highlights and key findings

Stem cell research is growing twice as fast (7%) as the world average growth in research (2.9%). In the area of induced pluripotent stem cells, the annual growth rate since 2008 is 77%. Stem cell publications are 50% more cited than the world average for all related subject areas, with the following field weighted citation impact (FWCI). ES cell publications maintained a citation impact of above 1.80 (2008-2012), while the hES cell citation impact declined marginally from 2.35 in 2008 to 2.08 in 2012. The emerging field of iPS cell research showed the highest impact within the stem cell field, with a FWCI of 2.93 (2008-2012).

While Singapore, Italy, the USA, Japan, and Israel show the highest level of activity in stem cell research the US and China show the highest volume.

Around half of all stem cell papers use keywords related to “drug development” or “regenerative medicine”. Reflecting the field’s ongoing development and clinical promise, 47% of stem cell publications used keywords related to regenerative medicine, while 2% used keywords related to drug development. However, iPS cell publications featured drug development more prominently (11% of iPS cell publications), and these papers were also associated with higher citation rates.

The report can be read online on the EuroStemCell website http://www.eurostemcell.org/stem-cell-research-trends-and-evolving-landscape-2013.