Bibliometric Study of Scientific Research on Melatonin During the Last 25 Years

  • Francisco López-Muñoz
  • Francisco J. Povedano
  • Cecilio Álamo


We have carried out a bibliometric analysis of scientific publications related to the the pineal gland and melatonin during the period 1900-2014, to detail its distribution, and to interpret the changes that have affected its development. We selected (EMBASE and MEDLINE databases) documents that contained in their title the descriptors pineal*, epiphys*, melatonin* or agomelatin*. As bibliometric indicators of production, we applied Price’s Law, and others as doubling time and annual growth rate of scientific literature. We also applied Lotka’s Law, Bradford’s Law, and calculated the national Participation Index (PaI) for pineal gland, melatonin, and agomelatine in 20 most productive countries in this topic. We obtained 30,617 original documents (17,046 corresponded to pineal gland, and 14,967 to melatonin). Our results indicate fulfilment of Price’s Law, since scientific production on this topic undergoes exponential growth (correlation coefficient r = 0.9528, vs. r = 0.9139 after linear adjustment). The most used journal in the dissemination of documents is Journal of Pineal Research (the core or first Bradford’s zone), with 2,168 papers. The principal producer country is the United States (PaI = 24.11), followed by Germany (PaI = 6.71), Japan (PaI = 5.78), France (PaI = 5.77), and Spain (PaI = 5.33). Productivity on pineal gland and melatonin has undergone exponential growth in the period 1900–2014, without evidence a saturation point.


Impact Factor Pineal Gland Science Citation Index Scientific Production Productivity Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco López-Muñoz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Francisco J. Povedano
    • 1
  • Cecilio Álamo
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesCamilo José Cela UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.Neuropsychopharmacology UnitHospital 12 de Octubre Research Institute (i+12)MadridSpain
  3. 3.Portucalense Institute of Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioural NeurosciencesPortucalense UniversityPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology Area), Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of Alcalá, Alcalá de HenaresMadridSpain

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