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Three decades research advances in pharmaceutics and drug delivery : global view of big data

English Abstract

Pharmaceutics, as one important discipline of pharmacy, relates to the science of pharmaceutical formulations and drug delivery, which prepare a new molecular entity (NME) into a medication with safe and effective performance to patients. The past three decades has witness an upsurge in the publication number in pharmaceutics and drug delivery field, but very few to systematically retrospect the research advances in this science domain from macro-perspectives. The aim of this study was to provide a landscape of the global research advances in pharmaceutics and drug delivery in recent three decades and trace the evolution of the scientific knowledge in this field by scientific knowledge mapping techniques. Total 111,461 publications from 27 pharmaceutics-related journals with impact factor above 1.0 were identified in the subject category of “Pharmacology & Pharmacy” via Web of Science from 1980 to 2014. 3,242 papers with the high citation number (≥100) were identified as “high-quality” publications. Combined big data and information visualization tools were employed for the data analysis. The results showed that Japan had the largest contribution with global share of 26.1%, but a continuing decline trend after 1994. China witnessed an exponential rise after 2005. University of London ranked 1st among top ten the most productive institutions. Pfizer (2nd) and GlaxoSmithKline (9th) led the pharmaceutical industry. Collaborations between USA and Europe were much stronger than that Asia. Keywords bursts detection and co-citation analysis were employed to investigate the research frontiers shifted over three decades. From 1980 to 2000, the hot topics focused on “prodrug”, “metabolism” and “pharmacokinetics” and so on, while the research areas on “liposome”, “microcapsule”, “nanoparticle”, “gene delivery” and “cancer” gained widely attention after 2000. It was revealed the leading topics in pharmaceutics shifted from conventional dosage forms to advanced drug delivery systems. In conclusion, current study provided a comprehensive and systematic insight to pharmaceutics field from global view in recent three decades.

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Zhang, Wei Xiang


Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences







Ouyang, De Fang

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