Background: In Japan, the departments of nursing were established by 2004, and graduate school programs for master's degree were established by 2008, in 42 national universities. With these changes, a more academic mission has been pursued, and the need for writing papers in English has increased. Aim: To investigate the numbers of papers published in English from the nursing departments of national universities in Japan over the past ten years. Methods: The lists of teachers who have nursing licenses in the departments of nursing in the 42 national universities (n = 2292) were obtained from the Japan Association of Nursing Programs in Universities. The number of papers published in English by these teachers from 2004 to 2013 was counted using the SCOPUS database. Results: The average number of total papers, in which at least one of the authors was a nursing teacher, and first-authored papers, in which the first author was a nursing teacher, were 211.4 and 69.9 per year, respectively; both increased approximately two-fold during the past ten years. The means and standard deviations of the number of total papers and first-authored papers were 50.3 ± 63.8 (range: 1-382) and 18.3 ± 23.4 (range: 0-147) according to universities, and 1.39 ± 5.84 (range: 0-140) and 0.33 ± 1.28 (range: 0-21) according to teachers, respectively. When journals with the highest number of papers were analyzed, 12 of the top 20 (total papers) and 12 of the top 16 (first-authored papers) were in journals whose editorial offices are in Japan. Conclusion: The number of papers published in English has increased over the past ten years, varied markedly depending on the universities and teachers, and many papers were published in Japanese journals. To our knowledge, this is the first report anywhere to determine the average number of nursing papers "per teacher" in a specific population.
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