Bibliometric Analysis of Global Circular RNA Research Trends from 2007 to 2018

Document Type : Original Article


1 .Department of Pharmacy, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

2 .Department of Transfusion Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China

3 .Department of Orthopaedics, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China


Circular RNA (circRNA) is of significant interest in genetic research. The aim of this study was to assess global trends in circRNA research production in order to shed new light on future research frontiers.
Materials and Methods
In this retrospective study, we conducted a literature search using the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) database on March 21, 2019 to retrieve publications from 2007 to 2018. Excel 2013, CiteSpace V, and VOSviewer were used to evaluate bibliometric features that included publication output, countries/regions, institutions, journals, citation frequency, H-index, and research hotspots.
Global cumulative publication output on circRNA consisted of 998 papers with a total citation of 28 595 during 2007-2018. China, the US, and Germany were the most prolific countries. China ranked first in H-index (60 times) and citations (13 333 times). The most productive institution was Nanjing Medical University with 73 papers. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (impact factor [IF]2017:2.559) ranked first among journals in the number of publications (64 papers). The keywords shifted from "sequence", "intron", and "splice-site" to "transcriptome", "microRNA sponge", "exon circularization", and "circRNA biogenesis" overtime. The burst keywords "transcriptome", "microRNA sponge", "exon circularization", and "circRNA biogenesis" were the latest frontiers by 2018.
This is a relatively novel bibliometric analysis to inspect research related to circRNA. The results show that publications have continuously increased in the past decade. China, the US, and Germany were the leading countries/regions in terms of quantity. Recent studies on topics related to circRNA biogenesis and function should be closely followed in this field.