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  • 1 Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Kneza Viseslava 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • | 2 Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
  • | 3 Society to Save the Sturgeon, Rostock, Germany
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Abstract

Sturgeon species are among the commercially most valuable and the most endangered groups of fish. To assess the existing literature published within the field of sturgeon research over the past 15 years (1996–2010) we applied a bibliometric approach, in order to identify patterns and trends of the published research in this field. The analysis was performed based upon articles obtained from the ISI Web of Knowledge online database. The results revealed that although all 27 sturgeon species have been objects of the research, species that are endangered or facing a high probability of extinction have received disproportionately less attention. White sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) was the most frequently studied species, but it was recently surpassed by Persian sturgeon (A. persicus). Early life phases have been among the central objects of the research, and genetics, especially the use of microsatellite DNA, is becoming increasingly popular and had the highest impact. Research related to aquaculture was prominent, while the research related to hybrids (as a commodity of aquaculture production) was decreasing in popularity. Papers dealing with conservation issues were most frequently focused on European sturgeon (A. sturio). A steady increase in the number of published articles over time was observed. However, the overall citation rate declined significantly over time. During the period reviewed, the sturgeon research published in peer reviewed journals dominantly originated from the USA and EU. Nevertheless, considering the current trend in output, it is very likely that the Asian countries, mainly Iran and China, will surpass them within the next 5–10 years. International and inter-institutional collaboration both tended to increase the impact of the research. Stimulation and improvement of the international cooperation should be considered as future priorities.

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