Abstract

Background

Ebola virus disease (hereafter EVD or Ebola) has a high fatality rate. The devastating effects of the current epidemic of Ebola in West Africa have put the global health response in acute focus. In response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. A small proportion of scientific literature is dedicated to Ebola research.

Methods

To identify global research trends in Ebola research, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science™ database was used to search for data, which encompassed original articles published from 1900 to 2013. The keyword “Ebola” was used to identify articles for the purposes of this review. In order to include all published items, the database was searched using the Basic Search method.

Results

The earliest record of literature about Ebola indexed in the Web of Science is from 1977. A total of 2477 publications on Ebola, published between 1977 and 2014 (with the number of publications increasing annually), were retrieved from the database. Original research articles (n = 1623, 65.5 %) were the most common type of publication. Almost all (96.5 %) of the literature in this field was in English. The USA had the highest scientific output and greatest number of funding agencies. Journal of Virology published 239 papers on Ebola, followed by Journal of Infectious Diseases and Virology, which published 113 and 99 papers, respectively. A total of 1911 papers on Ebola were cited 61,477 times.

Conclusion

This analysis identified the current state of research and trends in studies about Ebola between 1977 and 2014. Our bibliometric analysis provides a historical perspective on the progress in Ebola research.