Purpose: To analyze the state of scientific publications in the field of scleral lenses applying a bibliometric study.
Methods: The database used in this bibliometric study was SCOPUS, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings. Using remote download techniques, articles published between 1962 (year of first registrations) and 2015 were selected by entering the main descriptors: “scleral contact lenses” and “scleral lenses,” limiting the field for the article, keywords, and abstract, linked with the OR tab. We applied the following bibliometric indicators: Price index, doubling time and annual growth rate, Price transience index, Lotka law of scientific productivity, and Bradford zones.
Results: The authors recovered 361 contributions (articles, reviews, letters to the editor, etc.) for 1962 to 2016. The distribution for five-year periods shows a significant increase in 2012 to 2016, with a growth of 222.22% in comparison with the previous period 2012 to 2016. The countries with the highest production are the United states with 135 contributions, United Kingdom with 46, and India with 19. The most productive institutions are Harvard Medical school, Boston Foundation for Sight, and Moorfields Eye Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust. Classification of authors based on productivity is strongly concentrated in small producers, with a transient index of 59.03. The total number of authors is 891, representing a coauthor index of 2.47 for the 361 documents retrieved. The authors with the highest productivity are Kenneth W. Pullum, Perry Rosenthal, and Deborah S. Jacobs, with an h-index between 12 and 19 documents. The number of documents published on scleral lenses shows a significant increase in the last 5 years, and currently, they represent only 1.44% of all publications on contact lenses.
Conclusions: Bibliometric studies have become essential tools for evaluating scientific activity, allowing an overview of the growth, size, and distribution of scientific literature associated with a particular discipline.