Research Contributions on Oral Cancer in India: An Analysis of Citation Count

Sadik: Research Contributions on Oral Cancer in India: An Analysis of Citation Count



The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ( has identified more than 100 types of chemical, physical, and biological carcinogens that cause cancer. Cancer research is focused on discovering new carcinogens, explaining how they cause cancer and providing insights into ways to prevent cancer. Peyton Rous discovered cancer, and the virus causing cancer came to be known as Rous sarcoma virus. Peyton Rous was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1966 for his discovery.[1] In addition to viruses, chemicals and radiations also cause cancer and sometimes cancer is found to run in families.[2]

Oral cancer is any malignant neoplasm which is found on the lip, floor of the mouth, cheek lining, gingiva, palate or in the tongue. Oral cancer is among the top three types of cancers in India.[3] Severe alcoholism, use of tobacco like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, betel nut chewing and human papilloma virus (HPV) are the most common risk factors for oral cancer[4-5] Oral cancer may also occur due to poor dental care and poor diet.[6] The incidence of oral cancer is highest in India, south and Southeast Asian countries. In India, 90 -95% of the oral cancers is squamous cell carcinoma.[7] The international agency for research on cancer has predicted that India’s incidence of cancer will increase from 1 million in 2012 to more than 1.7 million in 2035. This indicates that the death rate because of cancer will also increase from 680000 to 1- 2 million in the same period. A case control study from India demonstrates that oral cancer is interrelated with low income. Low social economic class is interrelated with factors like nutrition, health care, living condition and risk behaviors which contribute to the development of oral cancer.[8] In many low-income and middle-income countries, including India, most of the population does not have access to a well organized and well regulated cancer care system. A diagnosis of cancer often leads to high personal health expenditures. Such expenditures can push entire families below the poverty line and may threaten social stability.[9] No significant advancement in the treatment of oral cancer has been found in recent years, though the present treatments improve the quality of life of oral cancer patients but the overall survival rate of years has not improved in the past decades.

Cancer research is growing rapidly as evidenced by the increasing research publication output. Bibliometric analysis helps in studying the various facets of publication productivity in different research areas.[10-11] Several bibliometric studies have reported analysis of cancer literature.[12-14] There are bibliometric studies on cancer of specific organs such as cervical cancer,[15-16] breast cancer[17] and oral cancer,[18] while other bibliometric studies are on cancer in specific countries[19-21] including a study on global perspectives.[22] Specific country based cancer studies include Arab countries,[23] Brazil,[24] France,[25] Iran,[26-27] Mexico[28] and Nigeria.[29] From the review of literature, it is seen that there are minimum number of bibliometric studies on oral cancer research from India so far. So, this paper attempts to fill this gap by presenting a Bibliometric report on oral cancer research in India.

Objectives of the study

  • To analyze the contribution of India in oral cancer research

  • To study the research performance of Indian institutions in oral cancer;

  • To identify Indian oral cancer researchers;

  • To find preferred journals in which Indian oral cancer researchers publish their works; and

  • To examine the citations of journals from which oral cancer researchers acquire knowledge.


The Web of Science (WOS) database was searched (25-12-2017) for records on oral cancer using the keywords oral cancer, Mouth Neoplasm, Neoplasm, Mouth Neoplasms, Oral Neoplasm, Oral Neoplasm, Oral Neoplasms, Neoplasms, Mouth, Cancer of Mouth, Mouth Cancers, Mouth Cancer, Cancer, Mouth, Cancers, Mouth Oral Cancer, Cancer, Oral, Cancers, Oral, Oral Cancers, Cancer of the Mouth available in title, abstract and keyword fields. The geographical location was kept as India. All these keywords used for tumors or cancer of the human oral and have been obtained from Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) for oral Cancer available at PubMed of National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI). The following search string was used to retrieve data from WOS.

TS=(Mouth Neoplasm OR Neoplasm, Mouth OR Neoplasms, Oral OR Neoplasm, Oral OR Oral Neoplasm OR Oral Neoplasms OR Neoplasms, Mouth OR Cancer of Mouth OR Mouth Cancers OR Mouth Cancer OR Cancer, Mouth OR Cancers, Mouth OR Oral Cancer OR Cancer, Oral OR Cancers, Oral OR Oral Cancers OR Cancer of the Mouth) AND CU=(India). The Period of study is from 2010 to 2017. Eight Years recent trend in the field is analyzed.

Data Analysis and Discussion

The data were analyzed for tabulating the characteristics of publications, types of publications, productive countries, and then further analyzed for Indian contribution in terms of performance by institutions, journals, authors and their citation impact and Hirsch Index (h-Index).[30]

The research productivity on oral cancer by the global scientists is accounted to 37680. The publications on oral cancer increased with a slow space from 9.64% to 15.15 with the little fluctuations found during the study period 2010 to 2017. The Indian scientists’ publications are 2606 in total which started with 147 from 2010 to 528 in 2016. The year 2017 shows a declining trend as 419. Table 1 explains the share of India in collaborating with the global level.

Table 1

Research Output of Oral Cancer by Global Scientists.

YearGlobal Output%Cum Global OutputCum %Indian Output%Cum. Indian OutputCum %India’s share In %

Table 2 explains the most productive countries and their publication share on oral cancer research. A total of 37,680 records were retrieved from WOS using the query discussed in the methodology. Table 1 gives the publication productivity of the top twenty-five countries on oral cancer research in recent years. It was found that the USA was the most productive country with 31.34% of global share of publications on oral cancer. India is ranked 4th in terms of total publications with 2606 papers which is 6.92% of global literature. In terms of global share of publications during 2010, it was 4.05% (147 articles of 37,680 globally) that increased further to 5.67% (222 articles) during 2011. Since then the research by the Indian authors is continuously increasing i.e., 6.09% (282 articles) in 2013 to 9.25% (528 articles) of global output during 2016. The data was downloaded up to 25-12-2017. So, it shows less in numbers i.e. 419 articles (7.76%) in 2017. India has been ranked at the top 5 place leaving other developed countries behind in the research productivity in the case of oral cancer.

Table 2

Most Productive countries and their publication share on Oral cancer research.

Number of Publications of Countries year wiseShare of Publications of Countries’ Percentage year wise
South Korea13215615417217822021121914423.633.983.573.713.844.043.704.063.83

Research performance of Indian institutions on Oral cancer

It was found that four institutes published more than hundred papers on oral cancer during 2010-2017. Table 3 provides publication output of top 25 Indian institutions and their citation impact. Unlike other Bibliometric measures, these 25 institutes have contributed 72.18% of the total Indian publications on oral cancer. The highest contribution came from Tata Memorial Hospital (351 papers), followed by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (213 papers) and Annamalai University, Annamalainagar (193 papers). In terms of citation count, Tata Memorial Hospital tops the list with 916 local citations and global citation score is 5446. All India Institute of Medical Sciences has TLCS of 490 and TGCS 3980. It is followed by Annamalai University with higher Local citation score than AIIMS i.e. 539 and it has TGCS as 2496. Yet the top most local citation and global citation is achieved by Regional Cancer centre 960 and 5171 respectively.

Table 3

Most productive institutions in India working on Oral cancer (2010-2017).

1Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai3519.5916544614CSIR, India431.2381545
2All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi2135.8490398915Panjab University, Chandigarh401.112442
3Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, TN1935.2539249616King Georges Med University, Lucknow361.037220
4Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum1734.7960517117Govt. Dental College, Tamil Nadu320.955385
5Manipal University, Karnataka902.45956218Indian Stat Inst, India320.9105512
6University of Madras, TN782.1136140619Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi300.822563
7Chittaranjan National Cancer Inst. Kolkata752.0150100920Postgrad Inst. of Med Educn and Res, Haryana290.824322
8Gujarat Canc Res Inst, Ahmadabad681.8198103421Univ Delhi, New Delhi290.843513
9Int Agcy Res Cancer, Lyon France581.6598388722Cent Drug Res Inst, Lucknow280.821251
10Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore541.5160277623Jawaharlal Nehru Univ, New Delhi280.815395
11Indian Inst Technology, India501.44144924NIPER, India280.897906
12Indian Inst Chemical Biology, Kolkata491.3122107025Govt. Dental College and Hosp, India260.753218
13Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi471.324650

Research output of Indian authors on oral cancer

Table 4 illustrates output and impact of India’s most productive authors on breast cancer research. There are 20 Indian authors who have published thirty-five or more papers during 2010-2017. It was found that these 20 authors belong to 14 institutions of India. These 20 authors contributed 1016 papers, which accounts for 38.99% of the total Indian publications output. Four authors have published more number of papers than the group average (28.14% papers), of which the most productive author is Chaturvedi.P, from Tata Hospital, Mumbai who has published the highest number of 90 publications followed Nagini.S from Annamalai University with 71 papers, Nair MK with 63 papers and Ralhan.R has published 62 papers. The Next five authors have published 50 and more Publications in which an author belongs to Annamalai University reveals that this institution stands to be the one of the most productive institution on oral cancer. The total local citation (TLC) score represents the total number of times a paper has been cited by other papers from the retrieved sample. Second, the total global citation (TGC) score is the total number of times a paper has been cited based on the full ISI Web of Knowledge count.

Table 4

Most Productive Authors in India working on Oral cancer (2010-2017).

RankAuthorPublnPercentTLCTLCPTLCxSTGCTGCPTLCRTLC-BTLC-Eh-indexh-ind Rank
1Chaturvedi P,Tata Hosp. Mumbai902.418025.0295941140.052323714187
2Nagini S, Annamalai University711.929422.78921248109.0924910621204
3Nair MK, Reg.Can. Centr, Trivandrum631.724811.34144123557.21783832205
4Ralhan R, Mt Sinai Hosp,621.730620.921161920144.353008817281
5Kumar A, Mol Oncol Lab, Hyderabad571.5385.632568391.946413 -169
6Kumar S, CSIR, Lucknow561.5608.843554989.268891412
7Kannan S, ACTREC, Mumbai531.417115.0810978467.9915337141511
8Manoharan S, Annamalai University501.423721.66579579.242318427178
9Sankaranarayanan R, JBL, Bangalore501.453333.133792133144.251604890272
10D’Cruz AK, FHNO, Mumbai481.310512.415761386.938917201313
11Gupta S, ISM, Jharkhand481.3605.394047475.345010 -1117
12Shukla NK, AIIMS, Newdelhi481.31239.5739101982.25154391206
13Kaur J, Panjab Univ451.215810.0370108182.24203424213
14Prabhash K, Tata Hosp. Mumbai441.26713.381820539.29100201019
15Singh M, PCDSR, Bhopal411.1708.043655464.816822 -1314
16Joshi A, TMH, Mumbai401.1407.951012124.86719620
17Kuriakose MA, AIMSR, Kerala391.1436.393429341.39513 -1118
18Das SN, AIIMS, New Delhi3818610.933241052.5632681315
19Panda CK, CNCI, Kolkota381927.713757754.9913326151610
20Agarwal JP, Tata Hosp. Mumbai351568.672849079.6231911316

TLC- Total Local Citation, TLCP- Total Local Citation per Year, TLCxS- Total Local Citation excluding Self citation, TGC- Total Global Citation, TGCP- Total Global Citation Per Year, TLCR – Total Local Citation Reference, TLC-B= Total Local Citation @ beginning, TLC-E= Total Local Citation @ End

Going by citation count, the highest number of global citations (TGC- 2133) were received by R. Sankaranarayan’s papers who had an average citation per paper (TLCP) of 33.13, followed by Ralhan.R with 1920 citations (TLCP=20.92) and Nagini.S of Annamalai University, Annamalainagar with 1248 citations (TLCP=22.78). Considering h-index as a factor of qualitative measure, it was found that Ralhan.R has highest h- Index with a value of 28, followed by Sankaranarayan (h-Index=27)[31] and Kaur.J (h- Index=21). Both the authors Nagini S and Nair Mk have h-index 20 each.

Journal productivity in terms of Indian contribution

The Indian papers on oral cancer research were published in 934 national and international journals. Table 5 presents the list of journals in which 19 or more papers on oral cancer were published. The publication share of these 25 journals was 44.51% of total Indian research output. Many Indian authors preferred ORAL ONCOLOGY for publishing oral cancer research (193 papers). It has Impact Factor (IF) of 4.794 for the year 2017 JCR.

Table 5

Top journals preferred for publishing Indian Oral cancer research.

ORAL ONCOLOGY1935.24.79457954.022999272.06445
INDIAN JOURNAL OF CANCER762.10.4977813.3631650.36156
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER701.96.51354932.352707170.69182
JOURNAL OF ORAL PATHOLOGY and MEDICINE631.72.04317714.9690977.48179
PLOS ONE421.12.80600.00619107.75133
TUMOR BIOLOGY411.13.650296.8815334.67118
CANCER LETTERS290.86.375754.4451036.7844
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY270.724.00850.511615116.602
ORAL DISEASES270.72.011748.3436739.0190
JOURNAL OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY200.52.993453.2327620.6738
RSC ADVANCES200.53.108224.979422.4834
JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS190.52.53000.0034537.6278

TLC- Total Local Citation, TLCP- Total Local Citation Per year, TGC - Total Global Citation, TGCP- Total Global Citation Per year, TCR – Total Cited Reference.

Other journals were Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (98 papers; IF=2.39), Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics (98 articles; IF=0.750) and Indian Journal of Cancer (98 articles; IF=0.497). As far as the Impact Factor (IF) is concerned, the Indian authors have published 27 papers in Journal of Clinical Oncology which has IF 24.008 as the topmost IF in JCR 2017, followed by Cancer (19 papers) with IF of 5.997 and Journal Of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research (20 papers) with IF of 5.189 (Table 5). The total local citation (TLC) score represents the total number of times a paper has been cited by other papers from the retrieved sample. Second, the total global citation (TGC) score is the total number of times a paper has been cited based on the full ISI Web of Knowledge count.

Spearman’s Rank Correlation coefficient between Total Local Citation and Total Global Citation proves that the rs value found in the Table 6 is 0.7365 and it is clear there is no strong correlation between the TLC and TGC.

Table 6

Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient between TLC and TGC.

Oral Oncology4.7945792554.0229992537.627800
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention2.39*2072328.29552222.483411
Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics0.751071914.694881639.019039
Indian Journal of Cancer0.497781813.36316120.2529636
Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research--46.51.17436170.691820.50.25
International Journal of Cancer6.5135492432.3527072445.541900
Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine2.0431772214.969092120.673811
Head And Neck-Journal For The Sciences And Specialties of The Head And Neck3.3761342013.597381912.762011
Plos One2.8060306191844.6419-15225
Tumor Biology3.6529136.881539107.75133416
Journal of Evolution Of Medical And Dental Sciences-Jemds--03012.5126.612600.50.25
Clinical Cancer Investigation Journal--03012.574.751650.50.25
Research Journal of Pharmaceutical Biological And Chemical Sciences0.35*03001272.0644524
Cancer Letters6.37575174.44510174.822100
Journal of Clinical Oncology24.008580.511615235.6769-15225
Oral Diseases2.01174168.343671436.784424
Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery0.054*690.9934512.7563416
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry2.6693014342515116.62-11
Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research5.18925121.242181034.6711824
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery1.9167100.7475777.4817939
Journal of Surgical Oncology2.99345153.23276110.2519416
RSC Advances3.10822114.9794873.337739
South Asian Journal of Cancer--46.5120450.361562.56.25
Journal of Biomedical Optics2.5303034513028-10100

Calculation Square: n= 25, Sum (d2) = 685, Spearman’s r value rs= 0.7365.

Formula SRC=6Σd2n(n21)

Table 7 presents the list of journals that the Indian authors cited for their publication purpose during the study period 2010 to 2017. There have been 20 top cited journals are listed in the table. Among them the top cited journal by the oral cancer authors is Colloids and Surfaces B-Biointerfaces which has got 1180 citations in total and it was increasingly cited year to year. It has IF 3.887. The next highly cited journal is Journal of Clinical Oncology with 781 citations followed by Lancet 556 citations and Jama Oncology with 478 citations. The other Journals have received less than 450 citations. As far as Impact Factor is concerned, the top most IF journal that has cited 556 times is Lancet (47.831-JCR 2017). The second top IF journal is Lancet Oncology (IF 33.90) followed by Journal of Clinical Oncology with IF 24.008 and Jama Oncology with IF 16.559. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has recorded IF 12.589. The other Journals have IF less than 10.

Table 7

Top cited Oral cancer journals of Indian research Scientists.

Name of the Journal20102011201220132014201520162017TotalIF
Colloids and surfaces b-bio interfaces21679612717922423023611803.887
Journal of clinical oncology10510711911410290826278124.008
JAMA oncology00000913433547816.559
Journal of the national cancer institute655368636070434947112.589
Journal of controlled release35482949537378534187.786
British journal of cancer36493241413335333006.176
Journal of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences36413840183734252691.811
Lancet oncology262530253625322522433.90
Addiction biology12232517261921211644.603
International journal of cancer12241520271715101406.513
Journal of coordination chemistry011427232626231401.795
Carbohydrate polymers042119211431281384.811
Journal of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences10121215172121201281.811
Expert opinion on investigational drugs061725181426201264.03
Clinical cancer research1513252519111051239.619
Annals academy of medicine singapore7111620221612161200.617


Cancer has become one of the deadliest and life-threatening diseases for the global population. Majority of research in the area of cancer is focused on discovering new carcinogens, causes, and discovery of drugs. The lifetime risk for mortality from cancer in India for both males and females is 61%. According to statistics, the number of deaths in 2012 due to oral cancer is 36463 in males and 15361 in females.[7] The present study presents a recent year’s perspective of Indian oral cancer research. The study reveals that the Indian oral cancer research is continuously increasing. Initially the research trend was low but the largest number (75%) of publications appeared during the last three years of the study. This is one of the few studies that may have found that a hospital (Tata Memorial Hospital) and a university (Annamalai University) have very active research activities as compared to other specialized research institutes.


As it is a research article brought out by sole authorship there is no conflict of Interest and the Journal of Scientometric is acknowledged for their support in bringing out the inferences among the Knowledge society.


The study focuses on the pattern of literature growth, global publication share and ranking, authorship pattern, collaborative coefficient, productivity and impact of most productive institutions and authors, sources and highly cited articles based on data obtained on oral cancer research from Web of Science. The study lights on the citation score gained by the Indian Scientists in terms of their publication and h-index. It is supported by the spearman’s correlation coefficient ranking analysis. The study will motivate the researchers in the area of Oral cancer and policy makers to understand the pit falls and take measures to overcome the pit falls.


The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Total Local Citation


Total Local Citation Per year


Total Global Citation


Total Global Citation Per year


Total Cited Reference.



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