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Analyzing the research output of preventive chemotherapy neglected tropical diseases in Africa: A Social network analysis

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Analyzing the research output of preventive chemotherapy neglected tropical diseases in Africa: A Social network analysis

Social network analysis (SNA) is a novel method for quantifying research output and a hallmark of contemporary academic research. Neglected tropical
diseases (NTDs) share a lot in common with rare diseases. Although not all are considered rare, NTDs are often misdiagnosed and treatments are less
available. The aim of this study is to assess collaboration trends and to identify leading scientists, author affiliations and funding organizations of five
preventive chemotherapy neglected tropical diseases (PC-NTDs) in Africa in order to support planning, implementation and management of these
diseases. SNA was used to analyse author’s affiliations, collaborations and research funding organizations (name/locations) in publications on five
PC-NTDs. PubMed and Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Core Collection were used to obtain bibliometric data of publications on five PC- NTDs
between 2000 and 2020. Author networks based on retrieved publications were assembled, visualized and analysed with Gephi social network analysis
software package. Majority of the authors were domicile in institutions in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Nigeria and Democratic of Congo while most of
the research funding institutions were located in the USA, UK and Europe. This study is necessary to better understand the existent and information
relationships obtainable from scientific publications. These analysed scientific publications can be used to change research policy of NTDs in Africa.
More importantly, NTDs research funding decisions could be based on both classic measures of impact and measures derived from network analysis.

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