In times of globalisation, the future of bio-medicolegal sciences in Europe depends on the scientific community's ability to develop new strategies for research, to introduce new and generally accepted standards, to develop new analytical methods, all in order to draw up inter-site, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary long-term research projects, eligible for European Union (EU) funding. To analyse the scientific output and to identify the topics of greatest interest and appeal in these sciences, an innovative method has been developed to select and analyse publications. This method has been applied to analyse a total of 21,176 records from PubMed out of which 5,826 papers were suitable for further analysis because they were published in national and international journals in the time between January 1, 2005 and June 1, 2010 by European authors in the field of interest. In 69% of all manuscripts, authors presented results of systematic research (original articles); 84% of the papers were written in English language. The cumulative impact factor increased from 1,670 points in 2005 to 1,878 in 2009, and extrapolated 2,812 points in 2010. The most frequent topics were the description of new analytical methods in forensic toxicology (5.7% of all papers), the analysis of short tandem repeat systems (STR, 5.6%) as well as the analysis of injury mechanisms in forensic pathology and clinical forensic medicine (4.9%). If the impact factor related potential of different topics is calculated (ratio of frequency of papers and frequency of impact points achieved), SIDS research reaches 1.64 points, followed by studies on mtDNA (1.59) and the development of new analytical methods in forensic toxicology (1.49). The findings made in the present bibliometric analysis reveal a clear and interesting overall picture of the European scientific production and productivity and could be used to identify the most innovative research lines.
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