Bibliometric studies have gained more importance in recent years in terms of summarizing publications, presenting visual data and showing trends in a specific field. In this study, 1068 articles were examined following the implementation of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The study was conducted with a systematic and comprehensive methodology, using many parameters such as the country of origin, year, author, institution, keywords, citation, and journal.
There was a decrease in the number of articles published by year between 1990 and 2010, and then the number of articles increased by the year. The most cited article was a study by Ornishi et al. (2011) on ceftriaxone drug resistance, followed by the study by Kent CK et al.(2005) on the prevalence of the disease. The increase in the prevalence of the disease due to the development of resistance to simple antibiotics and the weakening in disease control in recent years may explain the increase in the number of articles in the last decade. The number of articles published by year and the distribution of articles by country are presented as a table in this study. The activity of countries to produce articles can be affected by the socioeconomic development level, the support they give to scientific studies, the presence of many scientific institutions, the prevalence of the disease and many other factors. When the number of articles was evaluated by country, it was seen that the USA produced the most articles on gonorrhea, accounting for more than half of all the articles. In addition to producing the most articles, the USA was also the country with the highest number of total citations. As the United States is known to be the most productive country in many respects, these data were not surprising [17,18].
The most productive institution in the USA was seen to be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The long-standing success of USA institutions in implementing research and population-based public health programs is a major driver of article productivity. The USA can also support scientific studies due to the advantages of its economic development . The USA and England, which are the leading countries in terms of article production, also had the most citations, although articles originating from Sweden, which had relatively few articles, were highly cited. Considering the increase in article productivity in Australia, South Africa and China in the last 10 years, it can be predicted that these countries will dominate more in the coming years.
The journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases made the largest contribution to the literature, with the publication of a quarter of all articles. Therefore, researchers should focus on this journal for high impact. The journals with the greatest impact should be followed when planning research and deciding where to publish.
Network visualization analysis using keywords is frequently used to see research points and predict research trends . It was an expected result that gonorrhea and Neisseria Gonorrheae were among the top 10 most used keywords in this study. “Sexually Transmitted Diseases” and diseases such as “chlamydia”, “syphilis” and “HIV” in this group were among the most frequently used keywords. This demonstrated that gonorrhea is often studied together with these other sexually transmitted diseases. The overlay visualization map shown in Figure 2b demonstrates the predicted research trend according to the keywords in the study.
One limitation of this study was that it only used the WoS database. Although the WoS database has limited content compared to databases such as Google Scholar, PubMed and Scopus, it is more reliable than other databases because it indexes journals with high impact factor. Therefore, the WoS database is mostly used in bibliometric studies. Another limitation in this study was that only English-language articles were included. However, the date range examined was broad (1980–2020), and the evaluation of articles published in 2020 showed that current data were presented.
This study determined the number of articles published by journals and the most cited articles on the subject of gonorrhea, and demonstrated the trend in the number of articles published on gonorrhea by year. This holistic data evaluation of analysis of the findings, knowing the trend topics, and understanding which topics are cited more, will be of benefit for authors conducting future research.