We summarized the findings of several studies of ours to compare the quantity and quality of published research from around the world for the years 1995 to 2003. We evaluated the number of articles published and their mean journal impact factor. We also studied the research productivity of various areas adjusted for gross domestic product (GDP) and population. We found that Western Europe leads the world in published research on infectious diseases-microbiology (82 342 articles [38.8%]) and in cardiopulmonary medicine (67 783 articles [39.5%]), whereas the United States ranks first in the fields of preventive medicine, public health and epidemiology both in quantity (23 918 articles [49.1%]) and quality of published papers. However, after adjustments for GDP, Canada ranked first, with the United States and Oceania following closely behind. All of the developing regions had only small research contributions in all of the biomedical fields examined.
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