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Mycotoxins - Published: May 2008

The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) 1998-February 29, 2008 (first bimonthly period in 2008). The resulting database contained 4,452 (10 years) and 1,260 (2 years) papers; 9,727 authors; 107 nations; 793 journals; and 2,654 institutions.

OVERVIEW

Mycotoxins, secondary metabolites of a variety of fungi that proliferate in cereal grains and animal feeds, are the subject of scientific scrutiny due to the dangers they pose to agriculture and food safety. Not only can these substances destroy crops outright, but several have also proven to be carcinogenic, meaning that even when mycotoxins are present in relatively small amounts, grains and feeds can be rendered useless. According to one report by the American Phytopathological Society, globalization of trade is of great concern when it comes to mycotoxins, due to the varying standards of regulations between developed and poorer countries.

This month, ScienceWatch.com presents the most-cited scientists, institutions, journals, and nations publishing their research on mycotoxins over the past decade, as well as the 20 most-cited papers in this field from the past decade and the past two years.

Among the topics covered in the top 20 papers from the past 10 years are genetics studies of the molds producing these mycotoxins, including Fusarium and Aspergillus, as well as studies of mycotoxins' roles in protein signaling, apoptosis, and a variety of diseases. One study of maize that had been genetically modified for insect resistance also showed the possibility for reduced levels of the mycotoxin fumonisin. Another study introduced the possibility of using ozone to detoxify and eliminate mycotoxins and pesticide residues from agricultural products. Review papers on the top 20 list covered such topics as toxicity, metabolism, natural distribution, regulatory efforts, and the impact of mycotoxins on humans and animals.

One of the biggest trends shown in the top 20 papers from the past two years is the search for faster and more reliable detection methods: no less than six papers on this list deal with this particular angle. Medical effects of mycotoxins are also addressed in multiple papers, including studies of neural tube defects, Balkan endemic nephropathy and related urothelial cancer, as well as spleen dysfunction in pigs fed Fusarium toxin-contaminated wheat.

Methodology: To construct this database, papers were extracted based on topic-supplied keywords for Mycotoxins. The keywords used were as follows:

("mycotox*")

The baseline time span for this database is (publication years) 1998-February 29, 2008 (first bimonthly period in 2008). The resulting database contained 4,452 (10 years) and 1,260 (2 years) papers; 9,727 authors; 107 nations; 793 journals; and 2,654 institutions.

Rankings: Once the database was in place, it was used to generate the lists of top 20 papers (two- and ten-year periods), authors, journals, institutions, and nations, covering a time span of 1998-February 29, 2008, a 10-year plus 2-month period.

The top 20 papers are ranked according to total cites. Rankings for author, journal, institution, and country are listed in three ways: according to total cites, total papers, and total cites/paper. The paper thresholds and corresponding percentages used to determine scientist, institution, country, and journal rankings according to total cites/paper, and total papers respectively are as follows:

Entity Authors Institutions Nations Journals
Thresholds 19 33 8 3
Percentage: 1% 1% 50% 50%


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