Background and Aims: People of Chinese ethnicity are one of the groups at most risk of gastrointestinal and liver diseases in the world. The research status in gastroenterology and hepatology (gastrointestinal [GI]) among Chinese individuals in the three major regions of China—the mainland (ML), Hong Kong (HK), and Taiwan (TW)—are unknown. The outputs of articles published in international GI journals from the three regions were compared in this study.
Methods: Articles published in 52 journals related to GI originating from the ML, TW, and HK from1996–2005 were retrieved from the PubMed database. The numbers of total articles, clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, case reports, impact factors (IF), citation reports, and articles published in the top general medical journals were conducted for quantity and quality comparisons.
Results: The number of articles from the three regions increased significantly from 1996 to 2005. There were 5170 articles from the ML (2969), TW (1551), and HK (650). However, nearly 90% of articles from the ML were published in World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a controversial Chinese journal. Following the exclusion of WJG, the ML had published the least number of articles and had the least total citations. The accumulated IF of the articles from TW (3747.893) was much higher than the ML (775.084) and HK (2272.972). HK had the highest average IF of articles in GI journals and the most articles published in the top, general medical journals among the three regions.
Conclusion: The difference between the number of GI research articles published in the ML, TW, and HK still appears to be considerable, particularly when assessed by IF, although the gap appears to be narrowing.