Depression: Detecting the Historical Roots of Research on Depression Prevention with Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy

Ehsan Geraei, Fereshteh Shakibaei, Elaheh Mazaheri


Background: Reference citation analysis and reference publication year can help to demonstrate the historical context of a research feld. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the most important historical publications regarding depression prevention.

Methods: This was a bibliometric study carried out using reference publication year spectroscopy (RPYS) method. Data gathering was carried
out using Thomson Reuters Web of Science in the period of 2007–2016. A total of 17,043 records were retrieved which were uploaded as full record and cited references in plain text format. Then modifed data were analyzed using RPYS.exe software.

Results: Distribution of cited references in the area of depression prevention based on publication year revealed nine peaks in the twentieth
century in years 1921, 1935, 1944, 1977, 1983, 1990, 1994, 1999, and 2000. Moreover, our analysis showed that some peaks occurred in the 21st century in years 2001–2005.

Conclusions: Researchers have investigated depression prevention with physiological, epidemiological, biological as well as physical approaches. Furthermore, created criteria for measuring depression in different target
societies have played an important and vital role in depression prevention.

Keywords: Bibliometrics, depression, preventive medicine, spectrum analysis

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