The European mosaic of socio-cultural, economic and legal realities is reflected in forensic and legal medicine, in which a great variety of operational modes of forensic medical services, organisational systems, structures, functional competences and scientific research strategies can be observed. The present work analyses the European bio-medicolegal scientific output of the last 5.5 years (exact time window, January 1, 2005-June 1, 2010), categorising papers by nationality of the corresponding author and forensic sub-discipline in question, in order to identify the peculiarities of national sub-specialised competences and to build up international research projects. This country-based bibliometric analysis, based on the number of articles and the impact factor produced by each European country, also considering its economic profile (gross domestic product and per capita gross domestic product), highlights the prevailing productive role of Western and Southern Europe (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and France). Categorising scientific output by forensic sub-discipline and branch, significant in terms of impact factor are contributions from Germany (coming first in Pathology, Toxicology, Genetics, Anthropology and Biological Criminalistics), Great Britain (first in Clinical Forensic Medicine, Malpractice and Invalidity-Social Insurance), Switzerland (first in Criminology), Italy (second in Toxicology, Anthropology and Invalidity-Social Insurance), The Netherlands (third in Clinical Forensic Medicine and Medical Law and Ethics), Spain (third in Genetics, Criminalistics and Invalidity-Social Insurance) and France (third in Toxicology and Malpractice). Interestingly, several countries with low gross domestic product, such as Poland, Turkey and other Eastern European nations, show notable scientific production in specific sub-disciplines such as Pathology, Toxicology and Forensic Genetics, suggesting that fruitful international cooperation could be planned and be of interest to funding sources within the European Community, also taking into account funds reserved for depressed areas undergoing development.
Bio-medicolegal scientific research in Europe. A country-based analysis / Guido, Viel; Rafael Boscolo, Berto; Cecchi, Rossana; Thomas, Bajanowski; Nuno Duarte, Vieira; Santo Davide, Ferrara. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0937-9827. - 125:5(2011), pp. 717-725. [10.1007/s00414-011-0576-3]