BACKGROUND: At the global level and in the Arab world, particularly in low-income countries, COVID-19 remains a major public health issue . As demonstrated by an incredible number of COVID-19-related publications, the research science community responded rapidly . Therefore, this study was intended to assess the growing contribution of the Arab world to global research on COVID-19 .
METHODS: For the period between December 2019 and March 2021, the search for publications was conducted via the Scopus database using terms linked to COVID-19 . VOSviewer 1.6.16 software was applied to generate a network map to assess hot topics in this area and determine the collaboration patterns between different countries . Furthermore, the research output of Arab countries was adjusted in relation to population size and gross domestic product (GDP).
RESULTS: A total of 143,975 publications reflecting the global overall COVID-19 research output were retrieved . By restricting analysis to the publications published by the Arab countries, the research production was 6131 documents, representing 4.26% of the global research output regarding COVID-19 . Of all these publications , 3990 (65.08 %) were original journal articles , 980 (15.98 %) were review articles , 514 (8.38 %) were letters and 647 (10.55 %) were others, such as editorials or notes . The highest number of COVID-19 publications was published by Saudi Arabia (n = 2186 , 35.65 %), followed by Egypt (n = 1281 , 20.78 %) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), (n = 719 , 11.73 %). After standardization by population size and GDP, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Lebanon had the highest publication productivity . The collaborations were mostly with researchers from the United States (n = 968), followed by the United Kingdom (n = 661). The main research lines identified in COVID-19 from the Arab world are related to: public health and epidemiology; immunological and pharmaceutical research; signs, symptoms and clinical diagnosis; and virus detection .
CONCLUSIONS: A novel analysis of the latest Arab COVID-19-related studies is discussed in the current study and how these findings are connected to global production . Continuing and improving future collaboration between developing and developed countries will also help to facilitate the sharing of responsibilities for COVID-19 in research results and the implementation of policies for COVID-19.
Index: Arab world, Bibliometric, COVID-19, Novel coronavirus, Scopus