Syria + 2 more

Bibliometric analysis of peer-reviewed literature on Syrian refugees and displaced people (2011–2017)

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By Waleed M. Sweileh

Conflict and Health 2018 12:43 |

© The Author(s). 2018 | Received: 28 June 2018 Accepted: 15 October 2018 Published: 29 October 2018


The Syrian conflict has created the worst humanitarian crisis of our time with approximately half of Syria’s pre-war population killed or forced to flee their homes. The current study aimed to analyze peer-reviewed literature published on Syrian refugees and displaced people.


A bibliometric methodology was implemented using Scopus database after retrieving documents relevant to Syrian refugees and displaced people.


In total, 323 documents were retrieved. Research articles constituted 71.2% (n = 230) of the retrieved documents. The bulk (61.6%; n = 199) of the retrieved documents were in health-related fields. Research domains of the retrieved health-related documents were mainly in the field of mental and psychosocial (17.3%; n = 56), infectious diseases (15.2%; n = 49), health policy and systems (16.4%; n = 53), maternal and reproductive health (15.2%; n = 49), and non-communicable diseases (NCD) (7.4%; n = 24). Authors from research institutions in the United States produced the highest number of publications (24.5%; n = 79), followed by Turkey (21.4%; n = 69) and Lebanon (10.2%; n = 33). The American University of Beirut was the most active (5.6%; n = 18) research institution. Aside from Lebanon and Jordan, there was very little contribution from other Arab states. Conflict and Health was the most active journal (5.3%; n = 17) in publishing on Syrian refugees and displaced people.


The study highlighted some particular research gaps – most notably the limited research on NCDs. There was also modest international research collaboration and engagement from Arab countries aside from Lebanon and Jordan.