A recent article in the Annals of Saudi Medicine has indicated that there has been a substantial increase in health-related research in Saudi Arabia over the last few years. There has been a continuous increase in publications in disciplines such as medicine, biochemistry, dentistry, immunology and pharmacology between 2008 and 2017 with an average annual growth rate of 17.7%.
The top five universities for producing health research are:
- King Saud University
- King Abdulaziz University
- King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
- King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
- Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University.
This rapid growth was accompanied by a significant amount of international collaboration, especially with Egyptian universities such as Cairo, Mansoura and Al Azhar. There were also several joint projects with universities in Canada, the USA and Europe.
The most prominent field was medicine, followed by biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology, and pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutics.
The conclusions of the paper are confirmed by the success of Saudi universities in recent subject rankings. Four Saudi universities are in the top 550 of the latest QS medicine subject rankings and two are in the top 500 of the CWTS ranking for total publications in biochemical and health sciences.