Factors associated with citation rates in the orthopedic literature

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., Canada.
Canadian journal of surgery. Journal canadien de chirurgie (Impact Factor: 1.51). 05/2007; 50(2):119-23.
Source: PubMed


Investigators aim to publish their work in top journals in an effort to achieve the greatest possible impact. One measure of impact is the number of times a paper is cited after its publication in a journal. We conducted a review of the highest impact clinical orthopedic journal (Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American volume [J Bone Joint Surg Am]) to determine factors associated with subsequent citations within 3 years of publication.
We conducted citation counts for all original articles published in J Bone Joint Surg Am 2000 (12 issues). We used regression analysis to identify factors associated with citation counts.
We identified 137 original articles in the J Bone Joint Surg Am. There were 749 subsequent citations within 3 years of publication of these articles. Study design was the only variable associated with subsequent citation rate. Meta-analyses, randomized trials and basic science papers received significantly more citations (mean 15.5, 9.3 and 7.6, respectively) than did observational studies (mean retrospective 5.3, prospective 4.2) and case reports (mean 1.5) (p = 0.01). These study designs were also significantly more likely to be cited in the general medical literature (p = 0.02).
Our results suggest that basic science articles and clinical articles with greater methodological safeguards against bias (randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses) are cited more frequently than are clinical studies with less rigorous study designs (observational studies and case reports).

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    • "Given that conflict of interest disclosures were self-reported, it is possible that some conflicts may have been underreported (either intentionally or unintentionally) [17]. The fact that we chose not to control for self-citation may be considered a limitation of our study, although prior research has suggested that rates of self-citation do not correlate significantly with overall citation rates within the field of orthopedics (P O 0.05) [7]. Finally, it should be emphasized that although our results demonstrate association between certain factors and subsequent rates of citation, they do not prove causation. "
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the scientific and nonscientific factors associated with rates of citation in the orthopedic literature. All original clinical articles published in three general orthopedics journals between July 2002 and December 2003 were reviewed. Information was collected on variables plausibly related to rates of citation, including scientific and nonscientific factors. The number of citations at 5 years was ascertained and linear regression was used to identify factors associated with rates of citation. In the multivariate analysis, factors associated with increased rates of citation at 5 years were high level of evidence (22.2 citations for level I or II vs. 10.8 citations for level III or IV; P=0.0001), large sample size (18.8 citations for sample size of 100 or more vs. 7.9 citations for sample size of 25 or fewer; P<0.0001), multiple institutions (15.2 citations for two or more centers vs. 11.1 citations for single center; P=0.023), self-reported conflict of interest disclosure involving a nonprofit organization (17.4 citations for nonprofit disclosure vs. 10.6 citations for no disclosure; P=0.027), and self-reported conflict of interest disclosure involving a for-profit company (26.1 citations for for-profit disclosure vs. 10.6 citations for no disclosure; P=0.011). High level of evidence, large sample size, representation from multiple institutions, and conflict of interest disclosure are associated with higher rates of citation in orthopedics.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of clinical epidemiology
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    • "Subject Determinants of citation frequency Number of papers analyzed Statistical strategy used Reference Chemistry Number of authors 1,733 Exploratory inference Kademani et al. (2007) Crime and Psychology Author nationality; Number of author citation; Type of publication 428 Negative Binomial Regression Walters (2006) Ecology Journal Impact Factor; Study outcome (positive or negative result); Article length; Number of authors; Author nationality; Author affiliation university 23–5883 Correlation Analysis; ANOVA; ANCOVA Leimu and Koricheva (2005a, b), Borsuk et al. (2009) Mathematics Article availability 2,765 Exploratory inference Davis and Fromerth (2007) Medical Sciences Abstract length; Author affiliation university; Author nationality; Number of authors; Number of cited References; Number of pages; Research approach (e.g. experimental or empirical studies); Research topic; Sample size of the research; Study outcome (positive or negative result); Type of publication 34–1274 Exploratory inference; Correlation Analysis; ANOVA Celayir et al. (2008), Lokker et al. (2008), Gehanno et al. (2007), Nieminen et al. (2007), Bhandari et al. (2007), Kostoff (2007), Pasterkamp et al. (2007) Physical Sciences Article availability 74,521 Exploratory inference (Moed 2007) 2 A. A. Padial et al. "
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    ABSTRACT: Citation frequency has been considered a biased surrogate of publication merit. However, previous studies on this subject were based on small sample sizes and were entirely based on null-hypothesis significance testing. Here we evaluated the relative effects of different predictors on citation frequency of ecological articles using an information theory framework designed to evaluate multiple competing hypotheses. Supposed predictors of citation frequency (e.g., number of authors, length of articles) accounted for a low fraction of the total variation. We argue that biases concerning citation are minor in ecology and further studies that attempt to quantify the scientific relevance of an article, aiming to make further relationships with citation, are needed to advance our understanding of why an article is cited.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Scientometrics
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The physician often relies on the prestige of a journal to identify the most relevant articles to be read in his field. This investigation studied associations of scientific and nonscientific criteria with the citation frequency of articles in two top-ranked international orthopedic journals. Methods The 100 most (mean, 88 citations/5 years for cases) and 100 least (mean, two citations/5 years for controls) cited articles published between 2000 and 2004 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the Bone & Joint Journal (formerly known as JBJS (Br)), two of the most distributed general orthopedic journals, were identified. The association of scientific and nonscientific factors on their citation rate was quantified. Results Randomized controlled trials, as well as multicenter studies with large sample sizes, were significantly more frequent in the high citation rate group. The unadjusted odds of a highly cited article to be supported by industry were 2.8 (95 % confidence interval 1.5, 5.6; p < 0.05) if compared with a lowly cited article. Conclusion Beside scientific factors, nonscientific factors such as industrial support seem associated to the citation rate of published articles. This, together with publication bias, questions whether scientific facts reach the readers in a balanced fashion. Level of Evidence 3
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013
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