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Models of asthma: density-equalizing mapping and output benchmarking

Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1745-6673-3-s1-s7
  • Research
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Despite the large amount of experimental studies already conducted on bronchial asthma, further insights into the molecular basics of the disease are required to establish new therapeutic approaches. As a basis for this research different animal models of asthma have been developed in the past years. However, precise bibliometric data on the use of different models do not exist so far. Therefore the present study was conducted to establish a data base of the existing experimental approaches. Density-equalizing algorithms were used and data was retrieved from a Thomson Institute for Scientific Information database. During the period from 1900 to 2006 a number of 3489 filed items were connected to animal models of asthma, the first being published in the year 1968. The studies were published by 52 countries with the US, Japan and the UK being the most productive suppliers, participating in 55.8% of all published items. Analyzing the average citation per item as an indicator for research quality Switzerland ranked first (30.54/item) and New Zealand ranked second for countries with more than 10 published studies. The 10 most productive journals included 4 with a main focus allergy and immunology and 4 with a main focus on the respiratory system. Two journals focussed on pharmacology or pharmacy. In all assigned subject categories examined for a relation to animal models of asthma, immunology ranked first. Assessing numbers of published items in relation to animal species it was found that mice were the preferred species followed by guinea pigs. In summary it can be concluded from density-equalizing calculations that the use of animal models of asthma is restricted to a relatively small number of countries. There are also differences in the use of species. These differences are based on variations in the research focus as assessed by subject category analysis.

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