Bibliometric profile of the doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Medicine of Sousse (Tunisia)


Ahmed Ben Abdelaziz
Abdelnour ERRAFEI
Sarra Melki
Asma Ben Abdelaziz
Dhekra Chebil
Mohamed Azzaza


Objective: Describe the bibliometric profile of medical dissertations in Sousse Faculty of Medicine (SOFM) in Tunisia. Methods: This is a cross-sectional bibliometric study of all dissertations defended from 2001 to 2005. The data were collected through a reading grid applied to the cover page, conclusion, and summary of the thesis. The specialty of the dissertation has been attributed to its first director. Themes were defined by the “essential descriptor”, chosen from the descriptors used for the indexing. Results: The 670 theses collected, all written in French except one in Arabic, were original, pedagogic or bibliographical works in respectively 93.3%, 6.4%, and 0.3% respectively. “Community and Preventive Medicine” was the discipline that generated the most theses with a proportion of 8.9%. About half (48%) of the dissertations were supervised by two directors. The first director was a University Hospital Professor or an Associate Professor of Conferences, respectively in 34% and 42% of cases. The chairman of the thesis jury belonged to the same specialty as the first director and was from the same department in respectively 54% and 41% of cases. Four "essential descriptors" were frequently cited as indexation of the dissertation: "tumor", "CD-Rom", "trauma", and "diabetes". These dissertations were “clinical” type in 68% of cases, of which around 80% were “case studies”. Conclusion: The doctoral dissertation in SOFM was characterized by the orientation towards clinical and epidemiological research and the preference for general medicine and community health themes. It’s often recourse to a basic research estimate and its writing in French would be two factors limiting its scientific promotion and its social influence.