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Purpose – The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the progress and development of the global literature on public health and review several components of scientometric study including the patterns of growth of literature, authorship, author collaboration, and productivity.

Design/methodology/approach The current study is exploratory research in nature reviewing secondary literature extracted from a Scopus database and analytical with the application of suitable statistical and scientometric tools to strengthen the empirical validity. Public health literature was assessed quantitatively using scientometric indicators from 2000 to 2015.

Findings The year 2003 was the most productive and 2015 was the least productive year in Annual Growth Ratio (AGR) of public health published literature across the globe during the period under study. The average Relative Growth Rate (RGR) globally was 0.23 and at this rate, the literature of public health doubles every 4.16 years. Globally, the average Collaborative Coefficient (CC) value for global authors was 0.37 demonstrating that there was no significant magnitude of collaboration among worldwide authors. The average Productivity Per Author (PPA) for global authors is 0.49 which means public health authors produced less than half a publication each year during the study period.

Originality/value The paper is one of the very few studies which focuses on Scientometric analysis of public health literature using Scopus database. The present research gives a direction to determine the level of collaboration by a Collaborative Coefficient (CC) value which was never been calculated previously.