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Research topics and trends in medical education by social network analysis

Cited 15 time in Web of Science Cited 14 time in Scopus
Issue Date
2018-09-24
Citation
BMC Medical Education, 18(1):222
Keywords
Research topicsMedical educationMedical educationSocial network analysisComplex systems theory
Abstract
Background
As studies analyzing the networks and relational structures of research topics in academic fields emerge, studies that apply methods of network and relationship analysis, such as social network analysis (SNA), are drawing more attention. The purpose of this study is to explore the interaction of medical education subjects in the framework of complex systems theory using SNA and to analyze the trends in medical education.

Methods
The authors extracted keywords using Medical Subject Headings terms from 9,379 research articles (162,866 keywords) published in 1963–2015 in PubMed. They generated an occurrence frequency matrix, calculated relatedness using Weighted Jaccard Similarity, and analyzed and visualized the networks with Gephi software.

Results
Newly emerging topics by period units were identified as historical trends, and 20 global-level topic clusters were obtained through network analysis. A time-series analysis led to the definition of five historical periods: the waking phase (1963–1975), the birth phase (1976–1990), the growth phase (1991–1996), the maturity phase (1997–2005), and the expansion phase (2006–2015).

Conclusions
The study analyzed the trends in medical education research using SNA and analyzed their meaning using complex systems theory. During the 53-year period studied, medical education research has been subdivided and has expanded, improved, and changed along with shifts in societys needs. By analyzing the trends in medical education using the conceptual framework of complex systems theory, the research team determined that medical education is forming a sense of the voluntary order within the field of medicine by interacting with social studies, philosophy, etc., and establishing legitimacy and originality.
ISSN
1472-6920
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/144952
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1323-y
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College of Dentistry/School of Dentistry (치과대학/치의학대학원)Dental Research Institute (치학연구소)Journal Papers (저널논문_치학연구소)
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