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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 0120-0011


ESPINOSA, Isabel; CUENCA, Víctor; EISSA-GARCES, Ahmed  and  SISA, Ivan. A bibliometric analysis of COVID-19 research in Latin America and the Caribbean. [online]. 2021, vol.69, n.3, e210.  Epub Jan 12, 2021. ISSN 0120-0011.


Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is one of the regions most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, there is scarce literature addressing the research strategies developed in LAC to face COVID-19.


To quantify and assess the production of scientific publications about COVID-19 in 32 countries of LAC between January 1 and July 31, 2020.

Materials and methods:

Bibliometric study. Scientific papers on COVID-19 conducted in LAC or reporting data pertaining to LAC and published between January 1 to July 31, 2020, were searched in the Scopus, PubMed, and LILACS databases. A subgroup analysis including only original research articles was performed to determine the contribution of LAC countries to research on COVID-19, and standardization measures (# of articles per million people) were applied to compare the country-specific production of this type of articles.


A total of 1 291 publications were retrieved. Overall, most of them were non-original research articles (81.72%), and the countries with the highest scientific production were Brazil (43.91%) and Mexico (9.14%). However, after applying the standardization measures, Chile was the country with the highest production of original articles (0.58 per million inhabitants). Regarding original studies (n=236), cross-sectional design was the most common (25.84%). Diagnosis and treatment of the disease was the main research focus (n=354; 27.42%). However, in the subgroup analysis (n=236), epidemiology and surveillance were the most prevalent research focus (n=57; 24.15%).


During the study period, non-original research articles were predominant in the scientific production of the LAC region, and interventional studies were scarce among original articles, while the cross-sectional design predominated. Further research with a better quality of evidence should be performed in these countries to contribute to the making of health policies aimed at easing the burden of COVID-19 in the region and preparing for future pandemics.

Keywords : COVID-19; Biomedical Research; Bibliometrics; Latin America; Caribbean Region (MeSH).

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