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1.  Conflicts of Interest at Medical Journals: The Influence of Industry-Supported Randomised Trials on Journal Impact Factors and Revenue – Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000354.
Andreas Lundh and colleagues investigated the effect of publication of large industry-supported trials on citations and journal income, through reprint sales, in six general medical journals
Background
Transparency in reporting of conflict of interest is an increasingly important aspect of publication in medical journals. Publication of large industry-supported trials may generate many citations and journal income through reprint sales and thereby be a source of conflicts of interest for journals. We investigated industry-supported trials' influence on journal impact factors and revenue.
Methods and Findings
We sampled six major medical journals (Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, BMJ, JAMA, The Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM]). For each journal, we identified randomised trials published in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 using PubMed, and categorized the type of financial support. Using Web of Science, we investigated citations of industry-supported trials and the influence on journal impact factors over a ten-year period. We contacted journal editors and retrieved tax information on income from industry sources. The proportion of trials with sole industry support varied between journals, from 7% in BMJ to 32% in NEJM in 2005–2006. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than trials with other types of support, and omitting them from the impact factor calculation decreased journal impact factors. The decrease varied considerably between journals, with 1% for BMJ to 15% for NEJM in 2007. For the two journals disclosing data, income from the sales of reprints contributed to 3% and 41% of the total income for BMJ and The Lancet in 2005–2006.
Conclusions
Publication of industry-supported trials was associated with an increase in journal impact factors. Sales of reprints may provide a substantial income. We suggest that journals disclose financial information in the same way that they require them from their authors, so that readers can assess the potential effect of different types of papers on journals' revenue and impact.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Medical journals publish many different types of papers that inform doctors about the latest research advances and the latest treatments for their patients. They publish articles that describe laboratory-based research into the causes of diseases and the identification of potential new drugs. They publish the results of early clinical trials in which a few patients are given a potential new drug to check its safety. Finally and most importantly, they publish the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). RCTs are studies in which large numbers of patients are randomly allocated to different treatments without the patient or the clinician knowing the allocation and the efficacy of the various treatments compared. RCTs are best way of determining whether a new drug is effective and have to be completed before a drug can be marketed. Because RCTs are very expensive, they are often supported by drug companies. That is, drug companies provide grants or drugs for the trial or assist with data analysis and/or article preparation.
Why Was This Study Done?
Whenever a medical journal publishes an article, the article's authors have to declare any conflicts of interest such as financial gain from the paper's publication. Conflict of interest statements help readers assess papers—an author who owns the patent for a drug, for example, might put an unduly positive spin on his/her results. The experts who review papers for journals before publication provide similar conflict of interest statements. But what about the journal editors who ultimately decide which papers get published? The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which produces medical publishing guidelines, states that: “Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues that they might judge.” However, the publication of industry-supported RCTs might create “indirect” conflicts of interest for journals by boosting the journal's impact factor (a measure of a journal's importance based on how often its articles are cited) and its income through the sale of reprints to drug companies. In this study, the researchers investigate whether the publication of industry-supported RCTs influences the impact factors and finances of six major medical journals.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers determined which RCTs published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the British Medical Journal (BMJ), The Lancet, and three other major medical journals in 1996–1997 and 2005–2006 were supported wholly, partly, or not at all by industry. They then used the online academic citation index Web of Science to calculate an approximate impact factor for each journal for 1998 and 2007 and calculated the effect of the published RCTs on the impact factor. The proportion of RCTs with sole industry support varied between journals. Thus, 32% of the RCTs published in the NEJM during both two-year periods had industry support whereas only 7% of the RCTs published in the BMJ in 2005–2006 had industry support. Industry-supported trials were more frequently cited than RCTs with other types of support and omitting industry-supported RCTs from impact factor calculations decreased all the approximate journal impact factors. For example, omitting all RCTs with industry or mixed support decreased the 2007 BMJ and NEJM impact factors by 1% and 15%, respectively. Finally, the researchers asked each journal's editor about their journal's income from industry sources. For the BMJ and The Lancet, the only journals that provided this information, income from reprint sales was 3% and 41%, respectively, of total income in 2005–2006.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the publication of industry-supported RCTs was associated with an increase in the approximate impact factors of these six major medical journals. Because these journals publish numerous RCTs, this result may not be generalizable to other journals. These findings also indicate that income from reprint sales can be a substantial proportion of a journal's total income. Importantly, these findings do not imply that the decisions of editors are affected by the possibility that the publication of an industry-supported trial might improve their journal's impact factor or income. Nevertheless, the researchers suggest, journals should live up to the same principles related to conflicts of interest as those that they require from their authors and should routinely disclose information on the source and amount of income that they receive.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000354.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Harvey Marcovitch
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides information about the publication of medical research, including conflicts of interest
The World Association of Medical Editors also provides information on conflicts of interest in medical journals
Information about impact factors is provided by Thomson Reuters, a provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals; Thomson Reuters also runs Web of Science
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000354
PMCID: PMC2964336  PMID: 21048986
2.  Where on earth to publish? A sample survey comparing traditional and open access publishing in the oncological field 
Background
The paper intends to help scientific authors to make the best choice of journals in which to publish, by describing and comparing journal features in the area of oncology. For this purpose, the authors identified impact factor (IF) ranking, cost options and copyright conditions offered to authors wishing to publish in full open access (OA), subscription-based or hybrid journals.
Methods
Data referring to articles published in 2010 by three Italian research institutions (National Institute of Health – Rome (ISS), Regina Elena National Cancer Institute – Rome (IRE), National Cancer Institute – Milan (INT) in journals (78) managed according to different business models, all listed in the Journal Citation Reports, subject category Oncology, were collected and analysed. The journals surveyed were ranked according to IF, position in quartiles, publication charges, usage rights in published articles, self-archiving conditions in OAI-compliant repositories digital archives.
Results
Almost half (34) the journals surveyed were included in the first quartile, thus revealing authors’ preference for journals with a high IF. The prevalent journal business model was the hybrid formula (based on subscriptions but also offering a paid OA option) with 51 journals, followed by subscription-based only journals accounting for 22, while just 5 full OA journals were identified. In general, no relationship was found between IF and article publication charges, in terms of correspondence between more expensive fees and higher IF.
Conclusions
The issue of OA journals as compared with traditional subscription-based journals is highly debated among stakeholders: library administrators facing financial restrictions, authors seeking to locate the best outlet for their research, publishers wishing to increase their revenues by offering journals with wider appeal. Against this background, factors such as the quest for alternatives to high-cost business models, investments in setting up institutional repositories hosting the published versions of articles and efforts to overcome copyright barriers and gain free access to scientific literature are all crucial.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-32-4
PMCID: PMC3618298  PMID: 23339627
Open access publishing; Scientific publications; Oncology; Surveys; Italy
3.  Anatomy of the Epidemiological Literature on the 2003 SARS Outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto: A Time-Stratified Review 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000272.
Weijia Xing and colleagues reviewed the published epidemiological literature on SARS and show that less than a quarter of papers were published during the epidemic itself, suggesting that the research published lagged substantially behind the need for it.
Background
Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, especially those of a global nature, require rapid epidemiological analysis and information dissemination. The final products of those activities usually comprise internal memoranda and briefs within public health authorities and original research published in peer-reviewed journals. Using the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic as an example, we conducted a comprehensive time-stratified review of the published literature to describe the different types of epidemiological outputs.
Methods and Findings
We identified and analyzed all published articles on the epidemiology of the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong or Toronto. The analysis was stratified by study design, research domain, data collection, and analytical technique. We compared the SARS-case and matched-control non-SARS articles published according to the timeline of submission, acceptance, and publication. The impact factors of the publishing journals were examined according to the time of publication of SARS articles, and the numbers of citations received by SARS-case and matched-control articles submitted during and after the epidemic were compared. Descriptive, analytical, theoretical, and experimental epidemiology concerned, respectively, 54%, 30%, 11%, and 6% of the studies. Only 22% of the studies were submitted, 8% accepted, and 7% published during the epidemic. The submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals of the SARS articles submitted during the epidemic period were significantly shorter than the corresponding intervals of matched-control non-SARS articles published in the same journal issues (p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively). The differences of median submission-to-acceptance intervals and median acceptance-to-publication intervals between SARS articles and their corresponding control articles were 106.5 d (95% confidence interval [CI] 55.0–140.1) and 63.5 d (95% CI 18.0–94.1), respectively. The median numbers of citations of the SARS articles submitted during the epidemic and over the 2 y thereafter were 17 (interquartile range [IQR] 8.0–52.0) and 8 (IQR 3.2–21.8), respectively, significantly higher than the median numbers of control article citations (15, IQR 8.5–16.5, p<0.05, and 7, IQR 3.0–12.0, p<0.01, respectively).
Conclusions
A majority of the epidemiological articles on SARS were submitted after the epidemic had ended, although the corresponding studies had relevance to public health authorities during the epidemic. To minimize the lag between research and the exigency of public health practice in the future, researchers should consider adopting common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments to improve timeliness, and thus, relevance, in addition to standardizing comparability across studies. To facilitate information dissemination, journal managers should reengineer their fast-track channels, which should be adapted to the purpose of an emerging outbreak, taking into account the requirement of high standards of quality for scientific journals and competition with other online resources.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every now and then, a new infectious disease appears in a human population or an old disease becomes much more common or more geographically widespread. Recently, several such “emerging infectious diseases” have become major public health problems. For example, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have all emerged in the past three decades and spread rapidly round the world. When an outbreak (epidemic) of an emerging infectious disease occurs, epidemiologists (scientists who study the causes, distribution, and control of diseases in populations) swing into action, collecting and analyzing data on the new threat to human health. Epidemiological studies are rapidly launched to identify the causative agent of the new disease, to investigate how the disease spreads, to define diagnostic criteria for the disease, to evaluate potential treatments, and to devise ways to control the disease's spread. Public health officials then use the results of these studies to bring the epidemic under control.
Why Was This Study Done?
Clearly, epidemics of emerging infectious diseases can only be controlled rapidly and effectively if the results of epidemiological studies are made widely available in a timely manner. Public health bulletins (for example, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the US Centers from Disease Control and Prevention) are an important way of disseminating information as is the publication of original research in peer-reviewed academic journals. But how timely is this second dissemination route? Submission, peer-review, revision, re-review, acceptance, and publication of a piece of academic research can be a long process, the speed of which is affected by the responses of both authors and journals. In this study, the researchers analyze how the results of academic epidemiological research are submitted and published in journals during and after an emerging infectious disease epidemic using the 2003 SARS epidemic as an example. The first case of SARS was identified in Asia in February 2003 and rapidly spread around the world. 8,098 people became ill with SARS and 774 died before the epidemic was halted in July 2003.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified more than 300 journal articles covering epidemiological research into the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong, China, and Toronto, Canada (two cities strongly affected by the epidemic) that were published online or in print between January 1, 2003 and July 31, 2007. The researchers' analysis of these articles shows that more than half them were descriptive epidemiological studies, investigations that focused on describing the distribution of SARS; a third were analytical epidemiological studies that tried to discover the cause of SARS. Overall, 22% of the journal articles were submitted for publication during the epidemic. Only 8% of the articles were accepted for publication and only 7% were actually published during the epidemic. The median (average) submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals for SARS articles submitted during the epidemic were 55 and 77.5 days, respectively, much shorter intervals than those for non-SARS articles published in the same journal issues. After the epidemic was over, the submission-to-acceptance and acceptance-to-publication intervals for SARS articles was similar to that of non-SARS articles.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, although the academic response to the SARS epidemic was rapid, most articles on the epidemiology of SARS were published after the epidemic was over even though SARS was a major threat to public health. Possible reasons for this publication delay include the time taken by authors to prepare and undertake their studies, to write and submit their papers, and, possibly, their tendency to first submit their results to high profile journals. The time then taken by journals to review the studies, make decisions about publication, and complete the publication process might also have delayed matters. To minimize future delays in the publication of epidemiological research on emerging infectious diseases, epidemiologists could adopt common, predefined protocols and ready-to-use instruments, which would improve timeliness and ensure comparability across studies, suggest the researchers. Journals, in turn, could improve their fast-track procedures and could consider setting up online sections that could be activated when an emerging infectious disease outbreak occurred. Finally, journals could consider altering their review system to speed up the publication process provided the quality of the final published articles was not compromised.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information on emerging infectious diseases
The US Centers for Control and Prevention of Diseases also provides information about emerging infectious diseases, including links to other resources, and information on SARS
Wikipedia has a page on epidemiology (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The World Health Organization has information on SARS (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000272
PMCID: PMC2864302  PMID: 20454570
4.  Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:124.
Background
Open access (OA) is a revolutionary way of providing access to the scholarly journal literature made possible by the Internet. The primary aim of this study was to measure the volume of scientific articles published in full immediate OA journals from 2000 to 2011, while observing longitudinal internal shifts in the structure of OA publishing concerning revenue models, publisher types and relative distribution among scientific disciplines. The secondary aim was to measure the share of OA articles of all journal articles, including articles made OA by publishers with a delay and individual author-paid OA articles in subscription journals (hybrid OA), as these subsets of OA publishing have mostly been ignored in previous studies.
Methods
Stratified random sampling of journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (n = 787) was performed. The annual publication volumes spanning 2000 to 2011 were retrieved from major publication indexes and through manual data collection.
Results
An estimated 340,000 articles were published by 6,713 full immediate OA journals during 2011. OA journals requiring article-processing charges have become increasingly common, publishing 166,700 articles in 2011 (49% of all OA articles). This growth is related to the growth of commercial publishers, who, despite only a marginal presence a decade ago, have grown to become key actors on the OA scene, responsible for 120,000 of the articles published in 2011. Publication volume has grown within all major scientific disciplines, however, biomedicine has seen a particularly rapid 16-fold growth between 2000 (7,400 articles) and 2011 (120,900 articles). Over the past decade, OA journal publishing has steadily increased its relative share of all scholarly journal articles by about 1% annually. Approximately 17% of the 1.66 million articles published during 2011 and indexed in the most comprehensive article-level index of scholarly articles (Scopus) are available OA through journal publishers, most articles immediately (12%) but some within 12 months of publication (5%).
Conclusions
OA journal publishing is disrupting the dominant subscription-based model of scientific publishing, having rapidly grown in relative annual share of published journal articles during the last decade.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-124
PMCID: PMC3478161  PMID: 23088823
Open access; scientific publishing
5.  A Study of Innovative Features in Scholarly Open Access Journals 
Background
The emergence of the Internet has triggered tremendous changes in the publication of scientific peer-reviewed journals. Today, journals are usually available in parallel electronic versions, but the way the peer-review process works, the look of articles and journals, and the rigid and slow publication schedules have remained largely unchanged, at least for the vast majority of subscription-based journals. Those publishing firms and scholarly publishers who have chosen the more radical option of open access (OA), in which the content of journals is freely accessible to anybody with Internet connectivity, have had a much bigger degree of freedom to experiment with innovations.
Objective
The objective was to study how open access journals have experimented with innovations concerning ways of organizing the peer review, the format of journals and articles, new interactive and media formats, and novel publishing revenue models.
Methods
The features of 24 open access journals were studied. The journals were chosen in a nonrandom manner from the approximately 7000 existing OA journals based on available information about interesting journals and include both representative cases and highly innovative outlier cases.
Results
Most early OA journals in the 1990s were founded by individual scholars and used a business model based on voluntary work close in spirit to open-source development of software. In the next wave, many long-established journals, in particular society journals and journals from regions such as Latin America, made their articles OA when they started publishing parallel electronic versions. From about 2002 on, newly founded professional OA publishing firms using article-processing charges to fund their operations have emerged. Over the years, there have been several experiments with new forms of peer review, media enhancements, and the inclusion of structured data sets with articles. In recent years, the growth of OA publishing has also been facilitated by the availability of open-source software for journal publishing.
Conclusions
The case studies illustrate how a new technology and a business model enabled by new technology can be harnessed to find new innovative ways for the organization and content of scholarly publishing. Several recent launches of OA journals by major subscription publishers demonstrate that OA is rapidly gaining acceptance as a sustainable alternative to subscription-based scholarly publishing.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1802
PMCID: PMC3278101  PMID: 22173122
Scholarly publishing; open access; Internet; peer review
6.  The process and costs of publishing medical journals in Sri Lanka: an economic evaluation 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000057.
Objectives
Medical journals have contributed to the advancement of medicine by helping to disseminate scientific knowledge and providing a forum for medical communities to debate issues in depth. To the authors' knowledge, there are no studies examining the process of medical journal publication in developing Asian countries. The authors analysed the process and costs of publishing medical journals in Sri Lanka, a developing country in South Asia.
Methods
Data were collected by interviewing the editors and perusing the records at the editorial offices of the respective medical journals. Articles published in 2009 (or 2008 for journals not published in 2009) were analysed by perusing the respective journals.
Results
A total of 44 medical journals were published in Sri Lanka's history, of which only 28 journals remained in publication after 2007. A majority (54%) of the journals published after 2007 were published once per year. Seventeen journals in publication after 2007 were published in paper version only, and 11 journals were also available online. The mean cost of printing one issue was Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) 97 720 (US$888) (range LKR 28 000–270 000). The cost of distribution ranged from LKR 2000 to 140 000 (US$18–1273). The mean cost of publishing one article was LKR 6646 (US$60). A total of 456 articles were published in 2009 (/2008). The total number of pages published was 1723.
Conclusion
The infrastructure for medical journal publishing in Sri Lanka has many good qualities such as free access, minimum charges for authors and potential for online availability. The journals are solely academic (non-profit), but the costs remain high.
Article summary
Article focus
To analyse the process and costs of publishing medical journals in a developing country.
To identify a list of medical journals published in the country.
To analyse the number and types of articles published in recent Sri Lankan medical journals.
Key messages
Sri Lankan medical journals are freely accessible with minimum charges for authors.
Sri Lankan medical journals are solely academic (non-commercial) and non-profit in nature.
The publication costs remain high.
Strengths and limitations of this study
There is a lack of a comprehensive list of medical journals in the country.
The limited number of publications from the fields of allied health sciences (nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy) were not included.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000057
PMCID: PMC3191407  PMID: 22021741
7.  Bridging knowledge translation gap in health in developing countries: visibility, impact and publishing standards in journals from the Eastern Mediterranean 
Background
Local and regional scientific journals are important factors in bridging gaps in health knowledge translation in low-and middle-income countries. We assessed indexing, citations and publishing standards of journals from the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Methods
For journals from 22 countries in the collection of the Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (IMEMR), we analyzed indexing in bibliographical databases and citations during 2006–2009 to published items in 2006 in Web of Science (WoS) and SCOPUS. Adherence to editorial and publishing standards was assessed using a special checklist.
Results
Out of 419 journals in IMEMR, 19 were indexed in MEDLINE, 23 in WoS and 46 in SCOPUS. Their impact factors ranged from 0.016 to 1.417. For a subset of 175 journals with available tables of contents from 2006, articles published in 2006 from 93 journals received 2068 citations in SCOPUS (23.5% self-citations) and articles in 86 journals received 1579 citations in WoS (24.3% self-citations) during 2006–2009. Citations to articles came mostly from outside of the Eastern Mediterranean region (76.8% in WoS and 75.4% in SCOPUS). Articles receiving highest number of citations presented topics specific for the region. Many journals did not follow editorial and publishing standards, such addressing requirements about the patient’s privacy rights (68.0% out of 244 analyzed), policy on managing conflicts of interest (66.4%), and ethical conduct in clinical and animal research (66.4%).
Conclusion
Journals from the Eastern Mediterranean are visible in and have impact on global scientific community. Coordinated effort of all stakeholders in journal publishing, including researchers, journal editors and owners, policy makers and citation databases, is needed to further promote local journals as windows to the research in the developing world and the doors for valuable regional research to the global scientific community.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-12-66
PMCID: PMC3430582  PMID: 22577965
8.  Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles 
PLoS Biology  2006;4(5):e157.
Open access (OA) to the research literature has the potential to accelerate recognition and dissemination of research findings, but its actual effects are controversial. This was a longitudinal bibliometric analysis of a cohort of OA and non-OA articles published between June 8, 2004, and December 20, 2004, in the same journal (PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Article characteristics were extracted, and citation data were compared between the two groups at three different points in time: at “quasi-baseline” (December 2004, 0–6 mo after publication), in April 2005 (4–10 mo after publication), and in October 2005 (10–16 mo after publication). Potentially confounding variables, including number of authors, authors' lifetime publication count and impact, submission track, country of corresponding author, funding organization, and discipline, were adjusted for in logistic and linear multiple regression models. A total of 1,492 original research articles were analyzed: 212 (14.2% of all articles) were OA articles paid by the author, and 1,280 (85.8%) were non-OA articles. In April 2005 (mean 206 d after publication), 627 (49.0%) of the non-OA articles versus 78 (36.8%) of the OA articles were not cited (relative risk = 1.3 [95% Confidence Interval: 1.1–1.6]; p = 0.001). 6 mo later (mean 288 d after publication), non-OA articles were still more likely to be uncited (non-OA: 172 [13.6%], OA: 11 [5.2%]; relative risk = 2.6 [1.4–4.7]; p < 0.001). The average number of citations of OA articles was higher compared to non-OA articles (April 2005: 1.5 [SD = 2.5] versus 1.2 [SD = 2.0]; Z = 3.123; p = 0.002; October 2005: 6.4 [SD = 10.4] versus 4.5 [SD = 4.9]; Z = 4.058; p < 0.001). In a logistic regression model, controlling for potential confounders, OA articles compared to non-OA articles remained twice as likely to be cited (odds ratio = 2.1 [1.5–2.9]) in the first 4–10 mo after publication (April 2005), with the odds ratio increasing to 2.9 (1.5–5.5) 10–16 mo after publication (October 2005). Articles published as an immediate OA article on the journal site have higher impact than self-archived or otherwise openly accessible OA articles. We found strong evidence that, even in a journal that is widely available in research libraries, OA articles are more immediately recognized and cited by peers than non-OA articles published in the same journal. OA is likely to benefit science by accelerating dissemination and uptake of research findings.
A longitudinal bibliometric analysis of citations to papers published in the PNAS between June 8, 2004 and December 20, 2004 reveals that the open-access articles were more immediately recognized and cited by peers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040157
PMCID: PMC1459247  PMID: 16683865
9.  The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20961.
Open Access (OA) is a model for publishing scholarly peer reviewed journals, made possible by the Internet. The full text of OA journals and articles can be freely read, as the publishing is funded through means other than subscriptions. Empirical research concerning the quantitative development of OA publishing has so far consisted of scattered individual studies providing brief snapshots, using varying methods and data sources. This study adopts a systematic method for studying the development of OA journals from their beginnings in the early 1990s until 2009. Because no comprehensive index of OA articles exists, systematic manual data collection from journal web sites was conducted based on journal-level data extracted from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Due to the high number of journals registered in the DOAJ, almost 5000 at the time of the study, stratified random sampling was used. A separate sample of verified early pioneer OA journals was also studied. The results show a very rapid growth of OA publishing during the period 1993–2009. During the last year an estimated 191 000 articles were published in 4769 journals. Since the year 2000, the average annual growth rate has been 18% for the number of journals and 30% for the number of articles. This can be contrasted to the reported 3,5% yearly volume increase in journal publishing in general. In 2009 the share of articles in OA journals, of all peer reviewed journal articles, reached 7,7%. Overall, the results document a rapid growth in OA journal publishing over the last fifteen years. Based on the sampling results and qualitative data a division into three distinct periods is suggested: The Pioneering years (1993–1999), the Innovation years (2000–2004), and the Consolidation years (2005–2009).
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020961
PMCID: PMC3113847  PMID: 21695139
10.  The Relationship of Previous Training and Experience of Journal Peer Reviewers to Subsequent Review Quality 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e40.
Background
Peer review is considered crucial to the selection and publication of quality science, but very little is known about the previous experiences and training that might identify high-quality peer reviewers. The reviewer selection processes of most journals, and thus the qualifications of their reviewers, are ill defined. More objective selection of peer reviewers might improve the journal peer review process and thus the quality of published science.
Methods and Findings
306 experienced reviewers (71% of all those associated with a specialty journal) completed a survey of past training and experiences postulated to improve peer review skills. Reviewers performed 2,856 reviews of 1,484 separate manuscripts during a four-year study period, all prospectively rated on a standardized quality scale by editors. Multivariable analysis revealed that most variables, including academic rank, formal training in critical appraisal or statistics, or status as principal investigator of a grant, failed to predict performance of higher-quality reviews. The only significant predictors of quality were working in a university-operated hospital versus other teaching environment and relative youth (under ten years of experience after finishing training). Being on an editorial board and doing formal grant (study section) review were each predictors for only one of our two comparisons. However, the predictive power of all variables was weak.
Conclusions
Our study confirms that there are no easily identifiable types of formal training or experience that predict reviewer performance. Skill in scientific peer review may be as ill defined and hard to impart as is “common sense.” Without a better understanding of those skills, it seems unlikely journals and editors will be successful in systematically improving their selection of reviewers. This inability to predict performance makes it imperative that all but the smallest journals implement routine review ratings systems to routinely monitor the quality of their reviews (and thus the quality of the science they publish).
A survey of experienced reviewers, asked about training they had received in peer review, found there are no easily identifiable types of formal training and experience that predict reviewer performance.
Editors' Summary
Background.
When medical researchers have concluded their research and written it up, the next step is to get it published as an article in a journal, so that the findings can be circulated widely. These published findings help determine subsequent research and clinical use. The editors of reputable journals, including PLoS Medicine, have to decide whether the articles sent to them are of good quality and accurate and whether they will be of interest to the readers of their journal. To do this they need to obtain specialist advice, so they contact experts in the topic of the research article and ask them to write reports. This is the process of scientific peer review, and the experts who write such reports are known as “peer reviewers.” Although the editors make the final decision, the advice and criticism of these peer reviewers to the editors is essential in making decisions on publication, and usually in requiring authors to make changes to their manuscript. The contribution that peer reviewers have made to the article by the time it is finally published may, therefore, be quite considerable.
Although peer review is accepted as a key part of the process for the publishing of medical research, many people have argued that there are flaws in the system. For example, there may be an element of luck involved; one author might find their paper being reviewed by a reviewer who is biased against the approach they have adopted or who is a very critical person by nature, and another author may have the good fortune to have their work considered by someone who is much more favorably disposed toward their work. Some reviewers are more knowledgeable and thorough in their work than others. The editors of medical journals try to take in account such biases and quality factors in their choice of peer reviewers or when assessing the reviews. Some journals have run training courses for experts who review for them regularly to try to make the standard of peer review as high as possible.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is hard for journal editors to know who will make a good peer reviewer, and there is no proven system for choosing them. The authors of this study wanted to identify the previous experiences and training that make up the background of good peer reviewers and compare them with the quality of the reviews provided. This would help journal editors select good people for the task in future, and as a result will affect the quality of science they publish for readers, including other researchers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors contacted all the regular reviewers from one specialist journal (Annals of Emergency Medicine). A total of 306 of these experienced reviewers (71% of all those associated with the journal) completed a survey of past training and experiences that might be expected to improve peer review skills. These reviewers had done 2,856 reviews of 1,484 separate manuscripts during a four-year study period, and during this time the quality of the reviews had been rated by the journal's editors. Surprisingly, most variables, including academic rank, formal training in critical appraisal or statistics, or status as principal investigator of a grant, failed to predict performance of higher-quality reviews. The only significant predictors of quality were working in a university-operated hospital versus other teaching environment and relative youth (under ten years of experience after finishing training), and even these were only weak predictors.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study suggest that there are no easily identifiable types of formal training or experience that predict peer reviewer performance, although it is clear that some reviewers (and reviews) are better than others. The authors suggest that it is essential therefore that journals routinely monitor the quality of reviews submitted to them to ensure they are getting good advice (a practice that is not universal).
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040040
• WAME is an association of editors from many countries who seek to foster international cooperation among editors of peer-reviewed medical journals
• The Fifth International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical Publication is one of a series of conferences on peer review
• The PLoS Medicine guidelines for reviewers outline what we look for in a review
• The Council of Science Editors promotes ethical scientific publishing practices
• An editorial also published in this issue of PLoS Medicine discusses the peer review process further
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040040
PMCID: PMC1796627  PMID: 17411314
11.  References that anyone can edit: review of Wikipedia citations in peer reviewed health science literature 
Objectives To examine indexed health science journals to evaluate the prevalence of Wikipedia citations, identify the journals that publish articles with Wikipedia citations, and determine how Wikipedia is being cited.
Design Bibliometric analysis.
Study selection Publications in the English language that included citations to Wikipedia were retrieved using the online databases Scopus and Web of Science.
Data sources To identify health science journals, results were refined using Ulrich’s database, selecting for citations from journals indexed in Medline, PubMed, or Embase. Using Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports, 2011 impact factors were collected for all journals included in the search.
Data extraction Resulting citations were thematically coded, and descriptive statistics were calculated.
Results 1433 full text articles from 1008 journals indexed in Medline, PubMed, or Embase with 2049 Wikipedia citations were accessed. The frequency of Wikipedia citations has increased over time; most citations occurred after December 2010. More than half of the citations were coded as definitions (n=648; 31.6%) or descriptions (n=482; 23.5%). Citations were not limited to journals with a low or no impact factor; the search found Wikipedia citations in many journals with high impact factors.
Conclusions Many publications are citing information from a tertiary source that can be edited by anyone, although permanent, evidence based sources are available. We encourage journal editors and reviewers to use caution when publishing articles that cite Wikipedia.
doi:10.1136/bmj.g1585
PMCID: PMC3944683  PMID: 24603564
12.  A study on literature obsolescence and core journals’ cost-benefit in citations of the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’ 
Introduction:
One of the methods of identifying core and popular resources is by citation evaluation. Using citation evaluation, the librarians of the Acquisition Department can use quantitative methods to indentify core and popular resources among numerous information resources and make serious savings in the library's budget, by acquiring these core resources and eliminating useless ones. The aim of this study is assessing literature obsolescence and core journals’ cost-benefit in citations of the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’.
Materials and Methods:
This study is a descriptive and cross-sectional survey that uses citation analysis. Sampling is objective sampling from all documents from years 1364 (1985) to 1385 (2006), and the population comprises of 6342 citations of the articles published in ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’. Data collection is done through referring to the original documents and the data is analyzed using the Excel software, and for descriptive and analytical statistics the cost-benefit formula and Bradford law formula are used.
Results:
Findings showed that the average citation for each document in the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’ was 15.81. The average citation to international sources was 14.37, and the average citation to national sources was 1.44. The literature obsolescence of Farsi documents in this study was 15 years, while it was equal to 20 years for English documents. The highly cited Farsi journals were (sorted based on citation in descending order): ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’, ‘Daroudarman’, ‘Nabz,’ and ‘Journal of Medical School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences’. The highly cited English journals were (sorted based on citation in descending order): ‘Pediatrics’, ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’, ‘Gastroenterology’ and ‘Medicine’. All of these four journals are part of the ISI database and have good impact factors in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Also their cost-benefit was reasonable based on the frequency of their use.
Conclusion:
The authors of the investigated journal were more inclined to use international references. The resources used by the authors of this journal are relatively obsolete and the authors ought to use more up-to-date resources. The subscription for high citation English and Farsi journals is still available in this university. Also the authors of this journal have used accredited ISI journals as their resource, which is a sign of the credibility for the ‘Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz’.
doi:10.4103/2277-9531.139672
PMCID: PMC4165098  PMID: 25250359
Bradford Law; citation analysis; core journals; cost-benefit; literature obsolescence; Scientific Medical Journal of Ahwaz
13.  Temporal Trends in the Impact Factor of European versus USA Biomedical Journals 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16300.
Background
The impact factors of biomedical journals tend to rise over time. We sought to assess the trend in the impact factor, during the past decade, of journals published on behalf of United States (US) and European scientific societies, in four select biomedical subject categories (Biology, Cell Biology, Critical Care Medicine, and Infectious Diseases).
Methods
We identified all journals included in the above-mentioned subject categories of Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® for the years 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008. We selected those that were published on behalf of US or European scientific societies, as documented in journal websites.
Results
We included 167 journals (35 in the subject category of Biology, 79 in Cell Biology, 27 in Critical Care Medicine, and 26 in Infectious Diseases). Between 1999 and 2008, the percentage increase in the impact factor of the European journals was higher than for the US journals (73.7±110.0% compared with 39.7±70.0%, p = 0.049). Regarding specific subject categories, the percentage change in the factor of the European journals tended to be higher than the respective US journals for Cell Biology (61.7% versus 16.3%), Critical Care Medicine (212.4% versus 65.4%), Infectious Diseases (88.3% versus 48.7%), whereas the opposite was observed for journals in Biology (41.0% versus 62.5%).
Conclusion
Journals published on behalf of European scientific societies, in select biomedical fields, may tend to close the “gap” in impact factor compared with those of US societies.
What's Already Known About This Topic?
The impact factors of biomedical journals tend to rise through years. The leading positions in productivity in biomedical research are held by developed countries, including those from North America and Western Europe.
What Does This Article Add?
The journals from European biomedical scientific societies tended, over the past decade, to increase their impact factor more than the respective US journals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016300
PMCID: PMC3036587  PMID: 21347409
14.  A survey of authors publishing in four megajournals 
PeerJ  2014;2:e365.
Aim. To determine the characteristics of megajournal authors, the nature of the manuscripts they are submitting to these journals, factors influencing their decision to publish in a megajournal, sources of funding for article processing charges (APCs) or other fees and their likelihood of submitting to a megajournal in the future.
Methods. Web-based survey of 2,128 authors who recently published in BMJ Open, PeerJ, PLOS ONE or SAGE Open.
Results. The response rate ranged from 26% for BMJ Open to 47% for SAGE Open. The authors were international, largely academics who had recently published in both subscription and Open Access (OA) journals. Across journals about 25% of the articles were preliminary findings and just under half were resubmissions of manuscripts rejected by other journals. Editors from other BMJ journals and perhaps to a lesser extent SAGE and PLOS journals appear to be encouraging authors to submit manuscripts that were rejected by the editor’s journals to a megajournal published by the same publisher. Quality of the journal and speed of the review process were important factors across all four journals. Impact factor was important for PLOS ONE authors but less so for BMJ Open authors, which also has an impact factor. The review criteria and the fact the journal was OA were other significant factors particularly important for PeerJ authors. The reputation of the publisher was an important factor for SAGE Open and BMJ Open. About half of PLOS ONE and around a third of BMJ Open and PeerJ authors used grant funding for publishing charges while only about 10% of SAGE Open used grant funding for publication charges. Around 60% of SAGE Open and 32% of PeerJ authors self-funded their publication fees however the fees are modest for these journals. The majority of authors from all 4 journals were pleased with their experience and indicated they were likely to submit to the same or similar journal in the future.
Conclusions. Megajournals are drawing an international group of authors who tend to be experienced academics. They are choosing to publish in megajournals for a variety of reasons but most seem to value the quality of the journal and the speed of the review/publication process. Having a broad scope was not a key factor for most authors though being OA was important for PeerJ and SAGE Open authors. Most authors appeared pleased with the experience and indicated they are likely to submit future manuscripts to the same or similar megajournal which seems to suggest these journals will continue to grow in popularity.
doi:10.7717/peerj.365
PMCID: PMC4006221  PMID: 24795855
Open access; Megajournals; Survey; Authors
15.  Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature: Situation 2009 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11273.
Background
The Internet has recently made possible the free global availability of scientific journal articles. Open Access (OA) can occur either via OA scientific journals, or via authors posting manuscripts of articles published in subscription journals in open web repositories. So far there have been few systematic studies showing how big the extent of OA is, in particular studies covering all fields of science.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The proportion of peer reviewed scholarly journal articles, which are available openly in full text on the web, was studied using a random sample of 1837 titles and a web search engine. Of articles published in 2008, 8,5% were freely available at the publishers' sites. For an additional 11,9% free manuscript versions could be found using search engines, making the overall OA percentage 20,4%. Chemistry (13%) had the lowest overall share of OA, Earth Sciences (33%) the highest. In medicine, biochemistry and chemistry publishing in OA journals was more common. In all other fields author-posted manuscript copies dominated the picture.
Conclusions/Significance
The results show that OA already has a significant positive impact on the availability of the scientific journal literature and that there are big differences between scientific disciplines in the uptake. Due to the lack of awareness of OA-publishing among scientists in most fields outside physics, the results should be of general interest to all scholars. The results should also interest academic publishers, who need to take into account OA in their business strategies and copyright policies, as well as research funders, who like the NIH are starting to require OA availability of results from research projects they fund. The method and search tools developed also offer a good basis for more in-depth studies as well as longitudinal studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011273
PMCID: PMC2890572  PMID: 20585653
16.  Publication of Original Research in Urologic Journals – A Neglected Orphan? 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52420.
The pathophysiologic mechanisms behind urologic disease are increasingly being elucidated. The object of this investigation was to evaluate the publication policies of urologic journals during a period of progressively better understanding and management of urologic disease. Based on the ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports and the PubMed database, the number and percentage of original experimental, original clinical, review or commentarial articles published between 2002–2010 in six leading urologic journals were analyzed. “British Journal of Urology International”, “European Urology”, “Urologic Oncology-Seminars and Original Investigations” (“Urologic Oncology”), “Urology”, “The Journal of Urology”, and “World Journal of Urology” were chosen, because these journals publish articles in all four categories. The publication policies of the six journals were very heterogeneous during the time period from 2002 to 2010. The percentage of original experimental and original clinical articles, related to all categories, remained the same in “British Journal of Urology International”, “Urologic Oncology”, “Urology” and “The Journal of Urology”. The percentage of experimental reports in “World Journal of Urology” between 2002–2010 significantly increased from 10 to 20%. A distinct elevation in the percentage of commentarial articles accompanied by a reduction of clinical articles became evident in “European Urology” which significantly correlated with a large increase in the journal’s impact factor. No clearly superior policy could be identified with regard to a general increase in the impact factors from all the journals. The publication policy of urologic journals does not expressly reflect the increase in scientific knowledge, which has occurred over the period 2002–2010. One way of increasing the exposure of urologists to research and expand the interface between experimental and clinical research, would be to enlarge the percentage of experimental articles published. There is no indication that such policy would be detrimental to a journal’s impact factor.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052420
PMCID: PMC3526592  PMID: 23285032
17.  Assessing the Scientific Research Productivity of a Brazilian Healthcare Institution: A Case Study at the Heart Institute of São Paulo, Brazil 
Clinics (Sao Paulo, Brazil)  2009;64(6):571-576.
INTRODUCTION:
The present study was motivated by the need to systematically assess the research productivity of the Heart Institute (InCor), Medical School of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
OBJECTIVE:
To explore methodology for the assessment of institutional scientific research productivity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Bibliometric indicators based on searches for author affiliation of original scientific articles or reviews published in journals indexed in the databases Web of Science, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS and SciELO from January 2000 to December 2003 were used in this study. The retrieved records were analyzed according to the index parameters of the journals and modes of access. The number of citations was used to calculate the institutional impact factor.
RESULTS:
Out of 1253 records retrieved from the five databases, 604 original articles and reviews were analyzed; of these, 246 (41%) articles were published in national journals and 221 (90%) of those were in journals with free online access through SciELO or their own websites. Of the 358 articles published in international journals, 333 (93%) had controlled online access and 223 (67%) were available through the Capes Portal of Journals. The average impact of each article for InCor was 2.224 in the period studied.
CONCLUSION:
A simple and practical methodology to evaluate the scientific production of health research institutions includes searches in the LILACS database for national journals and in MEDLINE and the Web of Science for international journals. The institutional impact factor of articles indexed in the Web of Science may serve as a measure by which to assess and review the scientific productivity of a research institution.
doi:10.1590/S1807-59322009000600013
PMCID: PMC2705144  PMID: 19578662
Bibliometrics; Medical Research; Scientific production indicators; Cardiology; Brazil
18.  What do evidence-based secondary journals tell us about the publication of clinically important articles in primary healthcare journals? 
BMC Medicine  2004;2:33.
Background
We conducted this analysis to determine i) which journals publish high-quality, clinically relevant studies in internal medicine, general/family practice, general practice nursing, and mental health; and ii) the proportion of clinically relevant articles in each journal.
Methods
We performed an analytic survey of a hand search of 170 general medicine, general healthcare, and specialty journals for 2000. Research staff assessed individual articles by using explicit criteria for scientific merit for healthcare application. Practitioners assessed the clinical importance of these articles. Outcome measures were the number of high-quality, clinically relevant studies published in the 170 journal titles and how many of these were published in each of four discipline-specific, secondary "evidence-based" journals (ACP Journal Club for internal medicine and its subspecialties; Evidence-Based Medicine for general/family practice; Evidence-Based Nursing for general practice nursing; and Evidence-Based Mental Health for all aspects of mental health). Original studies and review articles were classified for purpose: therapy and prevention, screening and diagnosis, prognosis, etiology and harm, economics and cost, clinical prediction guides, and qualitative studies.
Results
We evaluated 60,352 articles from 170 journal titles. The pass criteria of high-quality methods and clinically relevant material were met by 3059 original articles and 1073 review articles. For ACP Journal Club (internal medicine), four titles supplied 56.5% of the articles and 27 titles supplied the other 43.5%. For Evidence-Based Medicine (general/family practice), five titles supplied 50.7% of the articles and 40 titles supplied the remaining 49.3%. For Evidence-Based Nursing (general practice nursing), seven titles supplied 51.0% of the articles and 34 additional titles supplied 49.0%. For Evidence-Based Mental Health (mental health), nine titles supplied 53.2% of the articles and 34 additional titles supplied 46.8%. For the disciplines of internal medicine, general/family practice, and mental health (but not general practice nursing), the number of clinically important articles was correlated withScience Citation Index (SCI) Impact Factors.
Conclusions
Although many clinical journals publish high-quality, clinically relevant and important original studies and systematic reviews, the articles for each discipline studied were concentrated in a small subset of journals. This subset varied according to healthcare discipline; however, many of the important articles for all disciplines in this study were published in broad-based healthcare journals rather than subspecialty or discipline-specific journals.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-2-33
PMCID: PMC518974  PMID: 15350200
19.  Authors attain comparable or slightly higher rates of citation publishing in an open access journal (CytoJournal) compared to traditional cytopathology journals - A five year (2007-2011) experience 
CytoJournal  2014;11:10.
Background:
The era of Open Access (OA) publication, a platform which serves to better disseminate scientific knowledge, is upon us, as more OA journals are in existence than ever before. The idea that peer-reviewed OA publication leads to higher rates of citation has been put forth and shown to be true in several publications. This is a significant benefit to authors and is in addition to another relatively less obvious but highly critical component of the OA charter, i.e. retention of the copyright by the authors in the public domain. In this study, we analyzed the citation rates of OA and traditional non-OA publications specifically for authors in the field of cytopathology.
Design:
We compared the citation patterns for authors who had published in both OA and traditional non-OA peer-reviewed, scientific, cytopathology journals. Citations in an OA publication (CytoJournal) were analyzed comparatively with traditional non-OA cytopathology journals (Acta Cytologica, Cancer Cytopathology, Cytopathology, and Diagnostic Cytopathology) using the data from web of science citation analysis site (based on which the impact factors (IF) are calculated). After comparing citations per publication, as well as a time adjusted citation quotient (which takes into account the time since publication), we also analyzed the statistics after excluding the data for meeting abstracts.
Results:
Total 28 authors published 314 publications as articles and meeting abstracts (25 authors after excluding the abstracts). The rate of citation and time adjusted citation quotient were higher for OA in the group where abstracts were included (P < 0.05 for both). The rates were also slightly higher for OA than non-OA when the meeting abstracts were excluded, but the difference was statistically insignificant (P = 0.57 and P = 0.45).
Conclusion
We observed that for the same author, the publications in the OA journal attained a higher rate of citation than the publications in the traditional non-OA journals in the field of cytopathology over a 5 year period (2007-2011). However, this increase was statistically insignificant if the meeting abstracts were excluded from the analysis. Overall, the rates of citation for OA and non-OA were slightly higher to comparable.
doi:10.4103/1742-6413.131739
PMCID: PMC4058908  PMID: 24987441
Citations; impact; open access; publication
20.  Fate of manuscripts rejected by a non-English-language general medical journal: a retrospective cohort study 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000147.
Objective
The objective of this study was to determine whether, where and when manuscripts were published following rejection by the Journal of the Danish Medical Association, a general medical journal published in Danish. Similar previous studies have focused on specialty/subspecialty journals published in English.
Design
Manuscripts rejected during a 4-year period were searched for in PubMed and Embase in order to assess the percentage of manuscripts subsequently published in other journals. In addition, characteristics of both the published manuscripts and the journals in which they were evaluated.
Results
Of 198 rejected manuscripts, 21 (10.6%) were eventually published after a median of 685 days (range 209–1463). The majority of these were original research, published in English-language specialty/subspecialty journals. The median number of citations per article was 2–3 (IQR 0.5–9.5, depending on the database searched).
Conclusions
10.6% of the rejected manuscripts were eventually published in other journals, mainly English-language specialty journals. This proportion was considerably lower than that for other journals that have studied the fate of rejected manuscripts. Manuscript translation could be a barrier for resubmitting to English-language journals with larger readerships, thus hindering the dissemination of knowledge to the international community.
Article summary
Article focus
To determine whether, where and when manuscripts were published following rejection by a general medical journal published in a language other than English
Key messages
10.6% of the rejected manuscripts were eventually published in other journals, a proportion considerably lower than that for other journals that have studied the fate of rejected manuscripts
Manuscript translation could be a barrier for resubmitting to English-language journals with larger readerships. Scientific journals publishing in small languages should consider publishing original research in a major language such as English in order to facilitate the dissemination of scientific results
Strengths and limitations of this study
PubMed and Embase were used to search for rejected manuscript eventually published in other (indexed) journals; previous studies have searched only PubMed for rejected manuscripts. However, even when searching both databases, the number of search results (published manuscripts) would most likely be an underestimate, as some manuscripts could be published in non-indexed journals.
This study deals with a general medical journal published in a small language; previous studies have focused on specialty/subspecialty journals published in English.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000147
PMCID: PMC3191426  PMID: 22021776
Medical journalism; medical ethics
21.  New journal selection for quantitative survey of infectious disease research: application for Asian trend analysis 
Background
Quantitative survey of research articles, as an application of bibliometrics, is an effective tool for grasping overall trends in various medical research fields. This type of survey has been also applied to infectious disease research; however, previous studies were insufficient as they underestimated articles published in non-English or regional journals.
Methods
Using a combination of Scopus™ and PubMed, the databases of scientific literature, and English and non-English keywords directly linked to infectious disease control, we identified international and regional infectious disease journals. In order to ascertain whether the newly selected journals were appropriate to survey a wide range of research articles, we compared the number of original articles and reviews registered in the selected journals to those in the 'Infectious Disease Category' of the Science Citation Index Expanded™ (SCI Infectious Disease Category) during 1998-2006. Subsequently, we applied the newly selected journals to survey the number of original articles and reviews originating from 11 Asian countries during the same period.
Results
One hundred journals, written in English or 7 non-English languages, were newly selected as infectious disease journals. The journals published 14,156 original articles and reviews of Asian origin and 118,158 throughout the world, more than those registered in the SCI Infectious Disease Category (4,621 of Asian origin and 66,518 of the world in the category). In Asian trend analysis of the 100 journals, Japan had the highest percentage of original articles and reviews in the area, and no noticeable increase in articles was revealed during the study period. China, India and Taiwan had relatively large numbers and a high increase rate of original articles among Asian countries. When adjusting the publication of original articles according to the country population and the gross domestic product (GDP), Singapore and Taiwan were the most productive.
Conclusion
A survey of 100 selected journals is more sensitive than the SCI Infectious Disease Category from the viewpoint of avoiding underestimating the number of infectious disease research articles of Asian origin. The survey method is applicable to grasp global trends in disease research, although the method may require further development.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-9-67
PMCID: PMC2766390  PMID: 19804650
22.  Factors related to the frequency of citation of epidemiologic publications 
Background
Previous studies have demonstrated that the frequency with which a publication is cited varies greatly. Our objective was to determine whether author, country, journal, or topic were associated with the number of times an epidemiological publication is cited.
Methods
We used outcome-based sampling and investigated one public health issue – child injury prevention, and one clinical topic – coronary artery disease (CAD) prevention. Using the Institute for Scientific Information's (ISI) Web of Science® databases, we limited searches to full articles involving humans published in English between 1998 and 2004. We calculated the citation rate and, after frequency-matching on year of publication, selected the 36 most frequently cited and 36 least frequently cited articles per year, for a total of 252 highly-cited and 252 infrequently-cited articles per topic area (child injury prevention and CAD prevention).
Results
Highly-cited articles in both CAD and child injury prevention were more likely to be published in medium or high impact journals or in journals with medium or high circulations. They were also more likely to be published by authors from U.S. institutions. Among articles examining CAD prevention, the highly-cited articles often involved risk factors, and the association between topics and frequency of citation persisted after adjusting for impact factor. Among articles addressing child injury prevention, topic was not statistically associated with citation.
Conclusion
Journal and country appear to be the factors most strongly associated with frequency of citation. In particular, highly-cited articles are predominantly published in high-impact, high-circulation journals. The factors, however, differ somewhat depending on the area of research the journals represent. Among CAD prevention articles, for example, topic is also an important predictor of citation whereas the same is not true for articles addressing injury prevention.
Condensed Abstract
Our objective was to determine whether author, country, journal, or topic were associated with the number of times an epidemiological publication is cited. We used outcome-based sampling and investigated one public health issue, child injury prevention, and one clinical topic, coronary artery disease (CAD) prevention. Using the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science® databases, we limited searches to full articles involving humans published in English between 1998 and 2004. We calculated the citation rate and, after frequency-matching on year of publication, selected the 36 most frequently cited and 36 least frequently cited articles per year, for a total of 252 highly-cited and 252 infrequently-cited articles per topic area (child injury prevention and CAD prevention). Highly-cited articles in both CAD and child injury prevention were more likely to be published in medium or high impact journals or in journals with medium or high circulations. They were also more likely to be published by authors from U.S. institutions. Among articles examining CAD prevention, the highly-cited articles often involved risk factors, and the association between topics and frequency of citation persisted after adjusting for impact factor. Among articles addressing child injury prevention, topic was not statistically associated with citation.
doi:10.1186/1742-5573-5-3
PMCID: PMC2291053  PMID: 18302781
23.  Concentration of the Most-Cited Papers in the Scientific Literature: Analysis of Journal Ecosystems 
PLoS ONE  2006;1(1):e5.
Background
A minority of scientific journals publishes the majority of scientific papers and receives the majority of citations. The extent of concentration of the most influential articles is less well known.
Methods/Principal Findings
The 100 most-cited papers in the last decade in each of 21 scientific fields were analyzed; fields were considered as ecosystems and their “species” (journal) diversity was evaluated. Only 9% of journals in Journal Citation Reports had published at least one such paper. Among this 9%, half of them had published only one such paper. The number of journals that had published a larger number of most-cited papers decreased exponentially according to a Lotka law. Except for three scientific fields, six journals accounted for 53 to 94 of the 100 most-cited papers in their field. With increasing average number of citations per paper (citation density) in a scientific field, concentration of the most-cited papers in a few journals became even more prominent (p<0.001). Concentration was unrelated to the number of papers published or number of journals available in a scientific field. Multidisciplinary journals accounted for 24% of all most-cited papers, with large variability across fields. The concentration of most-cited papers in multidisciplinary journals was most prominent in fields with high citation density (correlation coefficient 0.70, p<0.001). Multidisciplinary journals had published fewer than eight of the 100 most-cited papers in eight scientific fields (none in two fields). Journals concentrating most-cited original articles often differed from those concentrating most-cited reviews. The concentration of the most-influential papers was stronger than the already prominent concentration of papers published and citations received.
Conclusions
Despite a plethora of available journals, the most influential papers are extremely concentrated in few journals, especially in fields with high citation density. Existing multidisciplinary journals publish selectively most-cited papers from fields with high citation density.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000005
PMCID: PMC1762344  PMID: 17183679
24.  Are pediatric Open Access journals promoting good publication practice? An analysis of author instructions 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:27.
Background
Several studies analyzed whether conventional journals in general medicine or specialties such as pediatrics endorse recommendations aiming to improve publication practice. Despite evidence showing benefits of these recommendations, the proportion of endorsing journals has been moderate to low and varied considerably for different recommendations. About half of pediatric journals indexed in the Journal Citation Report referred to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) but only about a quarter recommended registration of trials. We aimed to investigate to what extent pediatric open-access (OA) journals endorse these recommendations. We hypothesized that a high proportion of these journals have adopted recommendations on good publication practice since OA electronic publishing has been associated with a number of editorial innovations aiming at improved access and transparency.
Methods
We identified 41 journals publishing original research in the subject category "Health Sciences, Medicine (General), Pediatrics" of the Directory of Open Access Journals http://www.doaj.org. From the journals' online author instructions we extracted information regarding endorsement of four domains of editorial policy: the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts, trial registration, disclosure of conflicts of interest and five major reporting guidelines such as the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement. Two investigators collected data independently.
Results
The Uniform Requirements were mentioned by 27 (66%) pediatric OA journals. Thirteen (32%) required or recommended trial registration prior to publication of a trial report. Conflict of interest policies were stated by 25 journals (61%). Advice about reporting guidelines was less frequent: CONSORT was referred to by 12 journals (29%) followed by other reporting guidelines (MOOSE, PRISMA or STARD) (8 journals, 20%) and STROBE (3 journals, 7%). The EQUATOR network, a platform of several guideline initiatives, was acknowledged by 4 journals (10%).
Journals published by OA publishing houses gave more guidance than journals published by professional societies or other publishers.
Conclusions
Pediatric OA journals mentioned certain recommendations such as the Uniform Requirements or trial registration more frequently than conventional journals; however, endorsement is still only moderate. Further research should confirm these exploratory findings in other medical fields and should clarify what the motivations and barriers are in implementing such policies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-27
PMCID: PMC3084157  PMID: 21477335
25.  Factors Affecting Journal Quality Indicator in Scopus (SCImago Journal Rank) in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journals: a Longitudinal Study (1999-2013) 
Acta Informatica Medica  2014;22(6):385-388.
Introduction:
Awareness of the latest scientific research and publishing articles in top journals is one of the major concerns of health researchers. In this study, we first introduced top journals of obstetrics and gynecology field based on their Impact Factor (IF), Eigenfactor Score (ES) and SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator indexed in Scopus databases and then the scientometric features of longitudinal changes of SJR in this field were presented.
Method and material:
In our analytical and bibiliometric study, we included all the journals of obstetrics and gynecology field which were indexed by Scopus from 1999 to 2013. The scientometric features in Scopus were derived from SCImago Institute and IF and ES were obtained from Journal Citation Report through the Institute for Scientific Information. Generalized Estimating Equation was used to assess the scientometric features affecting SJR.
Result:
From 256 journals reviewed, 54.2% and 41.8% were indexed in the Pubmed and the Web of Sciences, respectively. Human Reproduction Update based on the IF (5.924±2.542) and SJR (2.682±1.185), and American Journal of obstetrics and gynecology based on the ES (0.05685±0.00633) obtained the first rank among the other journals. Time, Index in Pubmed, H_index, Citable per Document, Cites per Document, and IF affected changes of SJR in the period of study.
Discussion:
Our study showed a significant association between SJR and scientometric features in obstetrics and gynecology journals. According to this relationship, SJR may be an appropriate index for assessing journal quality.
doi:10.5455/aim.2014.22.385-388
PMCID: PMC4315645
Journal quality; obstetrics and gynecology; Impact Factor; Eigenfactor Score; SCImago Journal Rank

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