Peer-reviewed oral and dental research output in South Africa, 1990-1994.
The aim of this project was to determine the oral and dental research output in South African dental schools over a 5-year period. All refereed research articles emanating from South African dental schools which appeared in peer-reviewed journals during the 5 year period, 1990-1994, and which could be traced, were recorded, scrutinized and classified according to the thrust of the research. During this period the 5 schools published 494 articles, 176 from the University of the Witwatersrand, 145 from the University of Stellenbosch, 85 from the University of Pretoria, 54 from the Medical University of Southern Africa and 34 from the University of the Western Cape. Papers were classified into 22 categories. The majority were produced in oral biology, oral pathology and microbiology and dental materials, followed by pharmacology and anaesthetics, epidemiology, community dentistry, preventive dentistry and prosthetic dentistry. A number of articles featured in the rest of the categories. Fifty-five per cent of manuscripts appeared in overseas journals while the bulk of locally published contributions featured in the Journal of the Dental Association of South Africa. The output of research remained constant over the 5 year period with a slight increase of articles in dental materials. The findings indicate that the South African dental schools may have reached a limit in their capacity to produce peer-reviewed research.